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A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry (1996)

by Czesław Miłosz (Editor)

Other authors: Judah al-Harizi (Contributor), James Applewhite (Contributor), Aloysius Bertrand (Contributor), Miron Białoszewski (Contributor), Elizabeth Bishop (Contributor)102 more, William Blake (Contributor), Joseph Brodsky (Contributor), Raymond Carver (Contributor), Constantine Cavafy (Contributor), Blaise Cendrars (Contributor), Ch'ang Yu (Contributor), Ch'in Kuan (Contributor), Chang Chi (Contributor), Chang Yang-hao (Contributor), Chu Shu Chen (Contributor), Chuang Tzu (Contributor), Robert Creeley (Contributor), Carlos Drummond de Andrade (Contributor), Emily Dickinson (Contributor), Wayne Dodd (Contributor), Gunnar Ekelöf (Contributor), Emperor Chien-wen of Liang (Contributor), Edward Field (Contributor), Jean Follain (Contributor), Robert Francis (Contributor), Robert Frost (Contributor), Allen Ginsberg (Contributor), Linda Gregg (Contributor), Eamon Grennan (Contributor), Jorge Guillén (Contributor), John Haines (Contributor), Julia Hartwig (Contributor), Robert Hass (Contributor), Seamus Heaney (Contributor), Zbigniew Herbert (Contributor), Jane Hirshfield (Contributor), Moushegh Ishkhan (Contributor), Issa (Contributor), Rolf Jacobsen (Contributor), Robinson Jeffers (Contributor), Anna Kamieńska (Contributor), Jaan Kaplinski (Contributor), Kikaku (Contributor), Galway Kinnell (Contributor), David Kirby (Contributor), Ted Kooser (Contributor), Steve Kowit (Contributor), Ryszard Krynicki (Contributor), Joanne Kyger (Contributor), Valery Larbaud (Contributor), Philip Larkin (Contributor), DH Lawrence (Contributor), Naomi Lazard (Contributor), Li-Young Lee (Contributor), Denise Levertov (Contributor), Philip Levine (Contributor), Li Ching-chao (Contributor), Li Po (Contributor), Liu Tsung-Yuan (Contributor), Antonio Machado (Contributor), Zbigniew Machej (Contributor), Mai Yao Ch'en (Contributor), Bronislaw Maj (Contributor), Thomas Merton (Contributor), WS Merwin (Contributor), Oscar Milosz (Contributor), Robert Morgan (Contributor), Nachman of Breslov (Contributor), Leonard Nathan (Contributor), Sharon Olds (Contributor), Mary Oliver (Contributor), Ouyang Xiu (Contributor), Po Chu-I (Contributor), Francis Ponge (Contributor), Lawrence Raab (Contributor), Kenneth Rexroth (Contributor), Rainer Maria Rilke (Contributor), Theodore Roethke (Contributor), Tadeusz Rozewicz (Contributor), Rumi (Contributor), Shu Ting (Contributor), Charles Simic (Contributor), Louis Simpson (Contributor), Gary Snyder (Contributor), Muso Soseki (Contributor), Leopold Staff (Contributor), William Stafford (Contributor), Wallace Stevens (Contributor), Su Man Shu (Contributor), Su Tungpo (Contributor), May Swenson (Contributor), Anna Swir (Contributor), Wislawa Szymborska (Contributor), James Tate (Contributor), Tomas Tranströmer (Contributor), Tu Fu (Contributor), David Wagoner (Contributor), Wang Chien (Contributor), Wang Wei (Contributor), Aleksander Wat (Contributor), Sandor Weores (Contributor), Walt Whitman (Contributor), William Carlos Williams (Contributor), Keith Wilson (Contributor), Franz Wright (Contributor), Adam Zagajewski (Contributor), Al Zolynas (Contributor)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
679923,442 (4.17)29
For A Book of Luminous Things Nobel laureate poet Czeslaw Milosz has selected 300 of the world's greatest poems written throughout the ages, poems memorable for how they render the realities of the world palpable and immediate. They are organized under eleven headings - including "Epiphany," "Nature," "The Secret of a Thing," "Travel," "Places," and "The Moment." In addition to his introduction, Milosz contributes brief, penetrating commentary on each poet. Among the.Poets included are Elizabeth Bishop, William Blake, Joseph Brodsky, Constantinos Cavafy, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Allen Ginsberg, Linda Gregg, Seamus Heaney, Zbigniew Herbert, Jane Hirshfield, Robinson Jeffers, D.H. Lawrence, Denise Levertov, Philip Levine, Li Po, Antonio Machado, Thomas Merton, W.S. Merwin, Sharon Olds, Mary Oliver, Po Chu-I, Rainer Maria Rilke, Theodore Roethke, Charles Simic, Gary Snyder, Wallace Stevens, May Swenson, Anna Swir, Wislawa.Szymborska, Tu Fu, Wang Wei, Walt Whitman, and William Carlos Williams.… (more)

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» See also 29 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I don't write many reviews, but this book needs one. It's odd to have an editor of an anthology put so much personal commentary into it, but I have no problem with that in and of itself. What I have a problem with is a white, male author/editor consistently denigrating female poets even as he includes them in his anthology. He qualifies every compliment with its opposite, such as when Milosz praises Linda Gregg as one of America's best poets but then follows it up with his being "biased" since she attended his classes, to which I'm assuming he's implying that she learned such greatness from him? Even if I'm reading too deeply into that, the way in which Milosz objectifies women in general by having a section entitled "Woman's Skin" alongside others such as "Nature," "Places," and "Travel" (tell me, which one doesn't belong?) is pretty infuriating even before one realizes that one of the first poems in said section is written by a man who is reflecting in the first-person on the difficulty of women aging or in another poem's commentary where he claims that women's bellies are "emotionally different" to men's. Moreover, Milosz claims that "in some epochs of history women took an active part in literary life..." as if we have not existed as artists and writers THROUGHOUT history. I would have given this book no stars, but many of the poems included are quality, despite their unfortunate election by an obvious misogynist. Mr. Milosz, I know you're dead, but go fuck yourself. ( )
  stixnstones004 | Jun 1, 2020 |
Very inspiring comments and introductions and interesting choice of topics, i.e. groupings. The selection isn't necessarily entirely my cup of tea that's why I gave four instead of five stars. ( )
  Frances.Livings | Apr 30, 2020 |
Again and again. One of my favorite anthologies. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
A wonderful collection of poetry. Some of it shimmers... ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Academic-style poetry anthologies contain all the important poems ever written. Ever. They make good reference books but aren't great for general reading. Conversely, Milosz said he selected poems for this anthology that are "short, clear, readable...they undermine the widely held opinion that poetry is a misty domain eluding understanding." He skipped the "intellectual," "scholarly," and "important" labels and picked poems that speak to him personally. As a result, the reader doesn't feel burdened to read or obligated to uncover some hidden meaning. This book is accessible without being facile.

The section themes, like "Nature," "Epiphany," and "People Among People," along with their short descriptions, add to the reading experience without being overbearing. The selections are diverse, ranging from 11th Century Chinese poets to Alan Ginsberg and from anonymous Eskimos to Walt Whitman. You'll re-read classics in a new light and stumble across some new favorites. Whether you're a poetry scholar or were scarred by high school English class, the 300 poems are a joy to read. Luminous Things is a great book to keep on your nightstand or desk, where you can flip through it and read a poem at random. ( )
2 vote ellahill | Oct 25, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Miłosz, CzesławEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
al-Harizi, JudahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Applewhite, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bertrand, AloysiusContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Białoszewski, MironContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bishop, ElizabethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blake, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brodsky, JosephContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carver, RaymondContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cavafy, ConstantineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cendrars, BlaiseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ch'ang YuContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ch'in KuanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chang ChiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chang Yang-haoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chu Shu ChenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chuang TzuContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Creeley, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
de Andrade, Carlos DrummondContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dickinson, EmilyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dodd, WayneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ekelöf, GunnarContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Emperor Chien-wen of LiangContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Field, EdwardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Follain, JeanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Francis, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frost, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ginsberg, AllenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gregg, LindaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grennan, EamonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guillén, JorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haines, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hartwig, JuliaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hass, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heaney, SeamusContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Herbert, ZbigniewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hirshfield, JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ishkhan, MousheghContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
IssaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jacobsen, RolfContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jeffers, RobinsonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kamieńska, AnnaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kaplinski, JaanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
KikakuContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kinnell, GalwayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kirby, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kooser, TedContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kowit, SteveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Krynicki, RyszardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kyger, JoanneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Larbaud, ValeryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Larkin, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, DHContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lazard, NaomiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, Li-YoungContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Levertov, DeniseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Levine, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Li Ching-chaoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Li PoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Liu Tsung-YuanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Machado, AntonioContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Machej, ZbigniewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mai Yao Ch'enContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maj, BronislawContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Merton, ThomasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Merwin, WSContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Milosz, OscarContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morgan, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nachman of BreslovContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nathan, LeonardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Olds, SharonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oliver, MaryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ouyang XiuContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Po Chu-IContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ponge, FrancisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Raab, LawrenceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rexroth, KennethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rilke, Rainer MariaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roethke, TheodoreContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rozewicz, TadeuszContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
RumiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shu TingContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Simic, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Simpson, LouisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Snyder, GaryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Soseki, MusoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Staff, LeopoldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stafford, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stevens, WallaceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Su Man ShuContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Su TungpoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Swenson, MayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Swir, AnnaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Szymborska, WislawaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tate, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tranströmer, TomasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tu FuContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wagoner, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wang ChienContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wang WeiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wat, AleksanderContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Weores, SandorContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whitman, WaltContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, William CarlosContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilson, KeithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wright, FranzContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zagajewski, AdamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zolynas, AlContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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