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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $66.00
  • December 2004
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-97920-6
  • 2256 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

The Norton Anthology of Poetry

Full Fifth Edition


Margaret Ferguson (Editor, University of California-Davis), Mary Jo Salter (Editor, Johns Hopkins University), Jon Stallworthy (Editor, Oxford University)


Offering over one thousand years of verse from the medieval period to the present, The Norton Anthology of Poetry is the classroom standard for the study of poetry in English.

The Fifth Edition retains the flexibility and breadth of selection that has defined this classic anthology, while improved and expanded editorial apparatus make it an even more useful teaching tool.


New Selections, Enduring Value

The Fifth Edition includes 1,828 poems (191 new) by 334 poets (17 new); the Shorter Fifth Edition includes 1,113 poems (124 new) by 251 poets (12 new). No other poetry anthology offers such abundance, which is why students hold onto The Norton Anthology of Poetry long after the course ends—it is their poetry reference for life.

Strengthened Contents

In response to instructors’ requests, a number of important works by major poets have been added to the Fifth Edition. New additions include: Chaucer, "The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale"; Spenser, "The Shepheardes Calendar: Aprill" and book 1, canto 2 of The Fairie Queene; Shakespeare, ten additional sonnets; Milton, from Book 4 of Paradise Lost; Mary Wroth, 7 additional sonnets; Swift, "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift"; Keats, "Lamia"; T. S. Eliot, "Little Gidding" and "The Hollow Men."

Instructors committed to teaching the rich diversity of English-language poetry will welcome the Fifth Edition’s increased attention to world poetry in English and to often-overlooked American voices. Among the poets newly included are Richard Wright, Weldon Kees, Robyn Sarah, Charles Bernstein, Anne Carson, Vikram Seth, and Simon Armitage.

New Help with Syntax and Versification

An indispensable aid in helping students become better readers and interpreters of poetry, Margaret Ferguson’s new essay, "Poetic Syntax," goes to the heart of a perennial stumbling block—how to recognize, describe, analyze, and appreciate syntactic ambiguity in English poetry.

Jon Stallworthy’s much-admired essay, "Versification," has been revised to offer clearer explanations of rhyme and form while paying new attention to metrics in Old and Middle English and Renaissance verse.

Strengthened Apparatus

Annotations throughout the anthology have been extensively revised to clarify archaisms and allusions, and biographical sketches situating the poet’s life, works, and literary concerns have been updated. A more legible typeface has also been adopted for this edition.

Resources Highlighting Intertextuality

Poetry instructors have come to depend on the flexibility and rich intertextuality of The Norton Anthology of Poetry. Three free learning resources—one online, for students, and two in print, for instructors—now offer more possibilities for demonstrating ways that poems speak to one another across time, place, and tradition through literal borrowings, forms, conventions, themes, and cultural concerns, among other means.

Download Regular Edition contents (pdf)

Download Shorter Edition contents (pdf)