Modern American Lyrics: An Anthology

Modern American Lyrics: An Anthology

Modern American Lyrics: An Anthology

Modern American Lyrics: An Anthology

Excerpt

In view of the present prevalence of anthologies, sad in particular of anthologies of contemporary poetry, the compiler of a new collection of lyrics enters the field necessarily upon the defensive. "Why another anthology?" is the question with which he is certain to be assailed; and unless he can answer this challenge satisfactorily, unless he can show that his particular volume occupies some niche not filled by any other volume in existence, then explanation must inevitably give way to apologies, and he must crave pardon for having added a few more waste pages to the limbo of the unnecessary.

But it is not with an apology, nor even with a timid gesture of hesitation, that I venture to make public the accompanying selection of lyrics. Singularly enough, there seems to me to be not only a vacant place but a cavernous gap in the ranks of current poetic compilations; and, paradoxically, it is the very abundance of anthologies that makes an addition to the list not only desirable but necessary. Commendable as has been the work of recent anthologists, many compilers appear not to have been sufficiently discriminating in sorting the chaff . . .

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