How to Eat a Poem

Focusing on popular verse from the nineteenth century through today, this anthology invites young readers to sample a taste of irresistible poems that will nourish their minds and spirits. Chosen by the Academy of American Poets and the American Poetry and Literacy Project, these seventy much-loved and highly readable poems promise young readers and poetry lovers of all ages hours of reading pleasure and were selected for both popularity and literary quality. Included are:

"Prickled Pickles Don't Smile" by Nikki Giovanni
"W. D., Don't Fear that Animal" by W. D. Snodgrass
"A Jelly-Fish" by Marianne Moore
"Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe
"The Falling Star" by Sara Teasdale
"Sick" by Shel Silverstein
"Halley's Comet" by Stanley Kunitz
"With Kit, Age Seven, At the Beach" by William Stafford


Table of Contents 
1. MAGIC WORDS: Poems about Poetry, Books, Words, and Imagination

“The First Book,” Rita Dove
“There Is No Frigate Like a Book,” Emily Dickinson
from “Magic Words,” Inuit (Eskimo) passage
“Introduction to Poetry,” Billy Collins
“The Poem,” Amy Lowell
“Ars Poetica,” Archibald MacLeish
“How to Eat a Poem,” Eve Merriam
Six Words,” Lloyd Schwartz
“Prickled Pickles Don’t Smile,” Nikki Giovanni
“Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” Wallace Stevens
“This Is Just to Say,” William Carlos Williams
“Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams,” Kenneth Koch
“Today is Very Boring,” Jack Prelutsky
“The Unwritten,” W. S. Merwin
“Write, Do Write,” Marilyn Chin

2. “MY HEART LEAPS UP: Poems About the Beauty of the Natural World”
“My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold,” William Wordsworth
“W. D., Don’t Fear That Animal,” W. D. Snodgrass
“Swift Things Are Beautiful,” Elizabeth Coatsworth
Four Seasons of Haiku
“Summer,” Kawabata Bosha
“Autumn,” Arakida Moritake
“Winter,” Takarai Kikaku
“Spring,” Matsuo Basho
“Nothing Gold Can Stay,” Robert Frost
“The Desert Is My Mother / El desierto es mi madre,” Pat Mora
“maggie and milly and molly and may,” E. E. cummings
“A Jelly-Fish,” Marianne Moore
“The Eagle,” Alfred Lord Tennyson
“Eagle Poem,” Joy Harjo
“Considering the Snail,” Thom Gunn
“The Porcupine,” Ogden Nash
“The Crocodile,” Lewis Carroll
“The Tyger,” William Blake
“Steam Shovel,” Charles Malam
“Cartoon Physics, part 1,” Nick Flynn
“The Falling Star,” Sara Teasdale
“Halley’s Comet,” Stanley Kunitz
“When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” Walt Whitman

3. “I THINK OVER AGAIN MY SMALL ADVENTURES: Poems About Travel, Adventure, Sports, and Play”
“Sick,” Shel Silverstein
“Travel,” Edna St. Vincent Millay
“Insomnia,” Marilyn Nelson
“Harlem Night Song,” Langston Hughes
“The Rider,” Naomi Shihab Nye
“The Jogger on Riverside Drive, 5:00 a.m.,” Agha Shahid Ali
“First Love,” Carl Lindner
“Skier,” Robert Francis
“Skater,” Ted Kooser
“The Acrobat,” Wislawa Szymborska
“Baseball,” Linda Pastan
“Casey at the Bat,” Ernest Lawrence Thayer
“One Art,” Elizabeth Bishop
“I Think Over Again My Small Adventures,” Anonymous
“Bed In Summer,” Robert Louis Stevenson
from The Bed Book, Sylvia Plath
“Summons,” Robert Francis

4. “HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS: Poems About Love, Friendship, Sadness, Pride, Hope, and Other Emotions”
“Shirley Said,” Dennis Doyle
“Oranges,” Gary Soto
“The Floor and the Ceiling,” William Jay Smith
“Annabel Lee,” Edgar Allan Poe
“Sympathy,” Paul Lawrence Dunbar
“Ozymandias,” Percy Bysshe Shelley
“Spring and Fall,” Gerard Manley Hopkins
“Trees,” Walter Dean Myers
“With Kit, Age Seven, At the Beach,” William Stafford
“At the End of the Weekend,” Ted Kooser
“Little Old Letter,” Langston Hughes
from “I Am a Black Woman,” Mari Evans
“homage to my hips,” Lucille Clifton
“Childhood Morning—Homebush,” James McAuley
“Hope Is the Thing with Feathers,” Emily Dickinson
“Quintrain,” Said ’Aql