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Literature A Pocket Anthology

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-07-30
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Literature A Pocket Anthology is a refreshing alternative to voluminous literature anthologies. with streamlined apparatus, this anthology focuses on the selections which are organized chronologically within each genre. Short story authors new to this collection include award winners Amy Tan Rick Moody, and Johnathan Safran Foer. The poetry collection brings new selections from classic and contemporary authors, including Anne Bradstreet, John Keats, e.e. cummings, and  Langston Hughes,  as well as fresh models from poets new to this edition including Denise Duhamel, Kevin Prufer, Rob Griffith, and Caki Wilkinson whose work brings poetry into the 21st century. The drama section includes the most popular teachable plays including Shakespeare's Othello, Hernik Ibsen, A Doll House, and August Wilson's Fences.  

Author Biography

R. S. Gwynn has edited several other books, including Drama: A Pocket Anthology; Poetry: A Pocket Anthology; Fiction : A Pocket Anthology; The Art of the Short Story (with Dana Gioia); and Contemporary American Poetry: A Pocket Anthology (with April Lindner).  He has also authored five collections of poetry, including No Word of Farewell: Selected Poems, 1970-2000. He has been awarded the Michael Braude Award for verse from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Gwynn is University Professor of English and Poet-in-Residence at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

Table of Contents


Experience, Experiment, Expand: Three Reasons to Study Literature

* indicates a selection new to this edition



Introduction to Fiction

The Telling of the Tale

The Short Story Genre

Reading and Analyzing Short Fiction


Nathanel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

           * Young Goodman Brown

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

            The Cask of Amontillado

Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909)

            A White Heron

Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893)

           *The Necklace

Kate Chopin  (1851-1904)

            The Story of an Hour

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)

            The Yellow Wallpaper

Willa Cather (1876-1947)

            Paul’s Case

James Joyce (1882-1941)


Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960)


William Faulkner (1897-1962)

            A Rose for Emily

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

            *Hills Like White Elephants

Richard Wright (1908-1960)

            The Man Who Was Almost a Man

John Cheever (1912-1982)


Ralph Ellison (1914-1995)

            A Party Down at the Square

Shirley Jackson (1919-1965)

            The Lottery

Hisaye Yamamoto (b. 1921)

            Seventeen Syllables

Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964)

            *Good Country People

Gabriel García Márquez (b. 1928)

            A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

*Ursula K. Le Guin (b.1929)

           *The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

Chinua Achebe (b. 1930)

            Dead Men’s Path

*John Updike (1932-2009)

            *A & P

Raymond Carver (1938-1988)


Joyce Carol Oates (b. 1938)

            Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Margaret Atwood (b. 1939)

            Happy Endings

Bobbie Ann Mason (b. 1940)


Alice Walker (b. 1944)

            Everyday Use

*Amy Tan (b.1952)

           *Two Kinds

Sandra Cisneros (b. 1954)

            Woman Hollering Creek

Louise Erdrich (b. 1954)

            The Red Convertible

*Rick Moody (b. 1961)


Sherman Alexie

            This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

*Etgar Keret (b. 1967)

             *Creative Writing

Jhumpa Lahiri (b. 1967)

            A Temporary Matter

Susan Perabo (b. 1969)

            The Payoff

*Johnathan Safran Foer (b. 1977)

            * Here We Aren't, So Quickly



Introduction to Poetry

An Anecdote: Where Poetry Starts 

Speaker, Listener, and Context 

“The Star-Spangled Banner” 

Lyric, Narrative, Dramatic 

The Language of Poetry 

 Figurative Language 

Allegory and Symbol 

Tone of Voice 

Repetition: Sounds and Schemes 

Meter and Rhythm 

Free Verse and Open Form

Stanza Forms 

Fixed Forms 

Literary History and Poetic Conventions 


Writing about Poetry




            Western Wind

            Bonny Barbara Allan

            Sir Patrick Spens

Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503?-1542)

            They Flee from Me 

            Whoso List to Hunt

Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

            Amoretti: Sonnet 75

Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

            Astrophel and Stella: Sonnet 1

Robert Southwell (1561?-1595)

            The Burning Babe

Michael Drayton (1563-1631)

            Idea: Sonnet 61

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

            Sonnet 18

            Sonnet 20

            Sonnet 29

            Sonnet 73

            Sonnet 116

            Sonnet 130

            When Daisies Pied (Spring and Winter)

Thomas Campion (1567-1620)

            There Is a Garden in Her Face

John Donne (1572-1631)

            The Flea

            Holy Sonnet 10

            Holy Sonnet 14

            A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

Ben Jonson (1573-1637)

            On My First Son

            Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount

Mary Wroth (1587?-1651?)

            In this Strange Labyrinth How Shall I Turn

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

            To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

George Herbert (1593-1633)

            Easter Wings

            The Pulley


Edmund Waller (1606-1687)


John Milton (1608-1674)

            How Soon Hath Time

            On the Late Massacre in Piedmont

            When I Consider How My Light Is Spent

Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)

            The Author to Her Book

             *To My Dear and Loving Husband

Richard Lovelace (1618-1658)

            To Lucasta, Going to the Wars

Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)

            To His Coy Mistress

John Dryden (1631-1700)

            To the Memory of Mr. Oldham

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

            A Description of a City Shower

Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

            from An Essay on Criticism

 Thomas Gray (1716-1771)

            Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

William Blake (1757-1827)

            The Chimney Sweeper

            The Little Black Boy 

            A Poison Tree

            The Tyger

Robert Burns (1759-1796)

            A Red, Red Rose

            John Barleycorn

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

            I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

            It Is a Beauteous Evening

           *Llines: Composted a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting The Banks of the Wye During a Tour. July 13, 1798

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

            Frost at Midnight

            Kubla Khan

            Work Without Hope

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824)

            She Walks in Beauty


            When We Two Parted

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

            Ode to the West Wind


John Keats (1795-1821)

            * Bright Star, Would I Were Stedfast as Thou Art

            La Belle Dame sans Merci

            *Ode on a Grecian Urn

            On First Looking into Chapman's Homer

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

            Sonnets from the Portuguese, 18

            Sonnets from the Portuguese, 43

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

            The Arsenal at Springfield

            The Cross of Snow

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

            The Haunted Palace

            The Raven

            Sonnet to Science

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

            The Lady of Shallot

            Tears, Idle Tears


Robert Browning (1812-1889)

            My Last Duchess

            Porphyria's Lover

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

            A Noiseless Patient Spider

            O Captain, My Captain

             Song of Myself, 6

            Song of Myself, 11

            When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer

Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)

            Dover Beach

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

            After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Comes

            Because I Could Not Stop for Death

            The Brain Is Wider than the Sky

            A Narrow Fellow in the Grass

            Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church

            The Soul Selects Her Own Society

            Tell All the Truth but Tell It Slant

            Wild Nights--Wild Nights

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)


Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

            Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave?

            Channel Firing

            Neutral Tones

            The Ruined Maid

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

            God's Grandeur

            Pied Beauty

            Spring and Fall: To a Young Child

Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)

            The New Colossus

A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

            Eight O'Clock

            Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now

            Stars, I Have Seen Them Fall

            “Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff . . .”

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

            The Lake Isle of Innisfree

            Leda and the Swan

            Sailing to Byzantium

            The Second Coming

            The Song of Wandering Aengus

Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)


            The Mill

            Richard Cory

Stephen Crane (1871-1900)

            The Trees in the Garden Rained Flowers

            The Wayfarer

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

            We Wear the Mask

Robert Frost (1874-1963)

            Acquainted with the Night

            After Apple-Picking


            Home Burial

            The Road Not Taken

            Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)

            Anecdote of the Jar

            Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock

            The Emperor of Ice-Cream

            The Snow Man

            Sunday Morning

            The Worms at Heaven’s Gate

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)

            The Last Words of My English Grandmother

            The Red Wheelbarrow

            Spring and All

Ezra Pound (1885-1972)

            In a Station of the Metro

             The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter

H. D. (Hilda Doolittle) (1886-1961)

            Pear Tree

            Sea Rose

Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967)


Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962)

            The Purse-Seine

Marianne Moore (1887-1972)

            The Fish


T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)

            The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

            If I Should Learn, in Some Quite Casual Way

            Oh, Oh, You Will Be Sorry for that Word

            What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, and Where, and Why

Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

            Dulce et Decorum Est

e. e. cummings (1894-1962)

            *anyone lived in a pretty how town

           pity this busy monster,manunkind

           plato told


 Jean Toomer (1894-1967)

            Georgia Dusk

Louise Bogan (1897-1970)


Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

            Dream Boogie

            *Theme for English B

            The Weary Blues

Countee Cullen (1903-1946)


            Yet Do I Marvel

W. H. Auden (1907-1973)

            As I Walked Out One Evening

            Musée des Beaux Arts

            The Unknown Citizen

Theodore Roethke (1908-1963)


            My Papa's Waltz

            Root Cellar

Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

            The Fish

            One Art

Robert Hayden (1913-1980)

            Those Winter Sundays

Dudley Randall (b. 1914)

            Ballad of Birmingham

William Stafford (1914-1993)

            Traveling through the Dark

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)

            Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

Weldon Kees (1914-1955)

            For My Daughter

Margaret Walker (b. 1915)

            For Malcolm X

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)

            the ballad of chocolate Mabbie

            the mother

            We Real Cool

Lawrence Ferlinghetti (b. 1919)

            A Coney Island of the Mind, #15

May Swenson (1919-1989)

            How Everything Happens

Howard Nemerov (1920-1991)

            A Primer of the Daily Round

Richard Wilbur (b. 1921)

            * For C

            The Writer

            Year's End

Philip Larkin (1922-1985)

            Next, Please

           This Be the Verse

James Dickey (1923-1997)

            The Heaven of Animals

Alan Dugan (b. 1923)

            Love Song: I and Thou

Anthony Hecht (b. 1923)

            The Dover Bitch

            Third Avenue in Sunlight

Louis Simpson (1923-2012)

            American Classic

            My Father in the Night Commanding No

Vassar Miller (1924-1997)


Donald Justice (b. 1925)

            Counting the Mad

Carolyn Kizer (b. 1925)

            The Ungrateful Garden

Maxine Kumin (b. 1925)

            Noted in the New York Times

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)

            A Supermarket in California

James Merrill (1926-1995)

            Casual Wear

Frank O'Hara (1926-1966)

            The Day Lady Died

W. D. Snodgrass (1926-2009)

            Mementos, I

John Ashbery (b. 1927)

             Paradoxes and Oxymorons

W. S. Merwin (b. 1927)

            For the Anniversary of My Death

            The Last One

James Wright (1927-1980)

            Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio

            Saint Judas

Philip Levine (b. 1928)

            You Can Have It

Anne Sexton (1928-1974)


Thom Gunn (b. 1929)


X. J. Kennedy (b. 1929)

            In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day

            Little Elegy

Adrienne Rich (1929-2012)

            Aunt Jennifer's Tigers


Ted Hughes (b. 1930)


Gary Snyder (b. 1930)

            A Walk

Miller Williams (b. 1930)

            The Book

Linda Pastan (b. 1932)


Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)




Gerald Barrax (b. 1933)

            Strangers like Us: Pittsburgh, Raleigh, 1945-1985

Mark Strand (b. 1934)

            The Tunnel

Mary Oliver (b. 1935)

            The Black Walnut Tree

Fred Chappell (b. 1936)

            Narcissus and Echo

Lucille Clifton (b. 1936)

            homage to my hips

            wishes for sons

Marge Piercy (b. 1936)

            What’s That Smell in the Kitchen?

Betty Adcock (b. 1938)


Robert Phillips (b. 1938)

            The Stone Crab: A Love Poem

Dabney Stuart (b. 1938)

            Discovering My Daughter

Margaret Atwood (b. 1939)

            Siren Song

Stephen Dunn (b. 1939)

            The Sacred

Seamus Heaney (b. 1939)


Ted Kooser (b. 1939)

           Abandoned Farmhouse

Tom Disch (b. 1940)

            Ballade of the New God

Florence Cassen Mayers (b. 1940)

            All American Sestina

Pattiann Rogers (b. 1940)


Billy Collins (b. 1941)

            *The Lanyard

Simon J. Ortiz (b. 1941)

            The Serenity in Stones

Gibbons Ruark (b. 1941)

            The Visitor

Gladys Cardiff (b. 1942)


B.H. Fairchild (b. 1942)

            Body and Soul

Charles Martin (b. 1942)


Sharon Olds (b. 1942)

            The One Girl at the Boys Party

Diane Lockward (b. 1943)

            My Husband Discovers Poetry

*Alfred Corn (b. 1943)


Ellen Bryant Voight (b. 1943)


Robert Morgan (b. 1944)

            Mountain Bride

Craig Raine (b. 1944)

            A Martian Sends a Postcard Home

Enid Shomer (b. 1944)

            Women Bathing at Bergen-Belsen

Wendy Cope (b. 1944)

            Rondeau Redoublé

Dick Davis (b. 1945)

            A Monorhyme for the Shower

Kay Ryan (b. 1945)


Leon Stokesbury (b. 1945)

            The Day Kennedy Died  

John Whitworth (b. 1945)


Marilyn Nelson (b. 1946)

            The Ballad of Aunt Geneva

Ai (1947-2010)

            Child Beater

Jim Hall (b. 1947)

            Maybe Dats Your Pwoblem Too

Yusef Komunyakaa (b. 1947)

            Facing It

Timothy Steele (b. 1948)

            Sapphics against Anger

James Fenton (b. 1949)

            God, a Poem

Sarah Cortez (b. 1950)

            Tu Negrito

Carolyn Forché (b. 1950)

            The Colonel

Dana Gioia (b. 1950)

            Planting a Sequoia

Rodney Jones (b. 1950)

            Winter Retreat: Homage to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Timothy Murphy (b. 1950)

            Case Notes

Joy Harjo (b. 1951)

            She Had Some Horses

Andrew Hudgins (b. 1951)

            Air View of an Industrial Scene 

 Robert Wrigley

            Thatcher Bitchboy

Judith Ortiz Cofer (b. 1952)

            The Latin Deli: An Ars Poetica

Rita Dove (b. 1952)

            American Smooth

Mark Jarman (b. 1952)

            After Disappointment

Julie Kane (b. 1952)

            Alan Doll Rap

Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952)

            The Traveling Onion

Alberto Ríos (b. 1952)

            The Purpose of Altar Boys

Julia Alvarez (b. 1953)

            Bilingual Sestina

Harryette Mullen (b. 1953)

            Dim Lady

Kim Addonizio (b. 1954)

            Sonnenizio on a Line from Michael Drayton

David Mason (b. 1954)

            Fog Horns

Mary Jo Salter (b. 1954)

            Welcome to Hiroshima

Cathy Song (b. 1955)

            Stamp Collecting

Ginger Andrews (b. 1956)

            Primping in the Rearview Mirror

Amy Gerstler (b. 1956)

            Advice from a Caterpillar

 Rebecca Foust (b. 1957)

            Family Story

*Denise Duhamel (b. 1961)

            *My Strip Club

Catherine Tufariello (b. 1963)

            Useful Advice

Sherman Alexie (b. 1966)

            The Exaggeration of Despair

Natasha Trethewey (b. 1966)

            Domestic Work, 1937

Craig Arnold (1967-2009)

            The Singers

Allison Joseph (b. 1967)

            The Athlete

Brian Turner (b. 1967)

            Here, Bullet

Suji Kwock Kim (b. 1968)


A. E. Stallings (b. 1968)

            First Love: A Quiz 

*Kevin Prufer (b. 1969)

           *The Viillain and His Helicopter: Possble Movie Rental Version

*Bob Griffith (b. 1970)

           *In the Kitchen

 Ernest Hilbert (b. 1970)

            Domestic Situation

*Alexander Long (b. 1972)

            *Flash Forward with The Amistad Before Us in the Distance 

Chelsea Rathburn (b. 1975)

             *What Was Left

Emily Moore (b. 1977)

            Auld Lang Syne

*Caki Wilkinsen (b. 1980)




Introduction to Drama

The Play’s the Thing

Origins of Drama

Aristotle on Tragedy

Brief History and Description of Dramatic Conventions


Sophocles  (496?-406 B.C.)


William Shakespeare (1564-1616)


Henrik Ibsen  (1828-1906)

            *A Doll House

Susan Glaspell (1882-1948)


Tennessee Williams (1911-1983)

            The Glass Menagerie

August Wilson  (b. 1945)


David Ives (b. 1950)

            Sure Thing

Milcha Sanchez-Scott (b. 1953)

            The Cuban Swimmer


Appendix A: Writing about Literature


Appendix B: Thematic Approaches to Literature


Index of Critical Terms


Index of Authors, Titles, and First Lines of Poems


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