I’m dreaming of a white anthology
Just like the ones I used to know,
With William Wordsworth and Wallace Stevens
And Shakespeare next to Robert Lowell.

I’m dreaming of a white anthology
With every essay that I write.
May your New York School-Beats-Objectivists-and-Language-Poets be bright!
And all your anthologies be white.


  1. The Old Man said,

    December 25, 2011 at 8:41 am

    May all your poets
    Be white or black as lead
    As long as they are good enough
    Just to be read

    Anthologies are not phone books
    They list not A to Z
    They reach for stronger voices
    Than sung by you or me

    We need a Vendler at the gate
    Who knows what’s good and bad
    Rita flaps her wings. but of late
    Does little more than push the fad

    Of multicultral presentation
    Which shows no hesitation
    To endorse what’s good OR bad
    Whereever it is to be had….

  2. marcusbales said,

    December 25, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    This Is Just To Say
    (if Rita Dove had written it)

    I’ve excluded
    the poets
    that were in
    the Norton

    and which
    you were probably
    to see

    Forgive me
    they were expensive
    and really
    not that good.

    • thomasbrady said,

      December 25, 2011 at 10:28 pm

      “…expensive/and really/not that good.”


  3. marcusbales said,

    December 26, 2011 at 2:21 am


    The girl stood on the burning deck
    Of merit judged through time
    While Dove and Penguin published dreck
    She judged to be sub-prime.

    Yet beautiful and bright she stood
    As born to rule on form
    And cite the universal good
    Against the local norm.

    The flames rolled on, a sheet of sheer
    Contemporary spew —
    But we, above those flames, could hear:
    “I stand by my review.”

    And though the structure sags and reels
    We few will still take heart
    That there she stands, with no appeals
    Except to time and art.

    • thomasbrady said,

      December 26, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      A bright, noble defense of Vendler!
      It might bode good sense to send her
      A copy, but I know
      Her a little; go slow.

  4. Nooch said,

    December 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I hate using “black”
    And I hate using “white”—
    Brown and pink
    Doth seem more right.

    • thomasbrady said,

      December 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      But “pink and brown” would seem to say
      One could change one’s race
      With some tanning paste
      On a summer’s day…
      Which I personally think is great—
      But it might confuse the State.

  5. marcusbales said,

    December 27, 2011 at 3:46 am

    Penguin Blues

    I’ve read the new collection
    There’s lots of folks I’ve missed
    But I think my chief objection
    Is that I’m not on the list!

    I hope you’ll find that you’ll forgive me
    If I don’t enthuse
    Because I’ve got the Penguin blues.

    The blamers out there blaming
    I give them all a pass
    But the flamers out there flaming
    Can kiss my pobiz ass.

    I send my check and manuscript to
    Contests that I lose –
    I guess I’ve got the Penguin blues.

    Then when Penguin phones you,
    That Harper/Collins owns you,
    And Penguin will not pay their jacked-up fees
    The most profuse apology
    You’re not in their anthology
    Will sound as if it’s dirty low-down sleaze.

    May editors select you,
    Your reprint fees stay low
    And may your peers elect you
    For prizes that give dough

    Oh Penguin may anthologize the
    Product of your muse
    But me, I’ve got the Penguin blues.
    Those forty-dollar brightly-covered hard-bound
    Penguin blues;
    Oh Penguin may anthologize the
    Poems you peruse
    But Penguin only brought me the blues –
    These brightly-covered forty-dollar hard-bound
    Penguin blues.

  6. noochinator said,

    June 3, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    On the wings of Dove,
    In building a po’try c’reer
    The only way to fly-y-yyy —
    Is on the wings of Dove…..

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