Morning Song, Poems for New Parents

Praise for Morning Song

Morning Song earned a "Starred Review" from Booklist on May 15, 2011. Here's what the reviewer wrote:

“Editors Todd and Purington have met to read poems together for some 15 years, and when one of them was to become a grandmother, they put together the original of this book to present to the new parents. This much larger selection they present to all new parents, they say, though any parent and any poetry reader should welcome it. For, ranging widely through Anglophone poetry but including translations from classical Greek, Japanese, Native American, African, and modern European languages, too, they’ve amassed what immediately looks like a classic theme anthology. These are not poems primarily about babies or parents but rather lyrics of observation, introspection, retrospection, meditation, prayer, and exuberant experience cast in voices that are now children’s, now adults’, now men’s, now women’s, now that of the universal human consciousness. Metrical and rhythmic beauty is at a premium among them, and here are chestnuts by Blake, Longfellow, Stevenson, Yeats, Dickinson, and Christina Rossetti that, stirred in with poems by contemporaries including Sharon Olds, Mark Jarman, Billy Collins, Luci Shaw, and Kay Ryan (among many more), breathe with renewed freshness. While there’s no denying this treasury’s value as a gift book, it’s of equal or greater value to every good library of poetry.”

— Ray Olson

“When I first saw a manuscript copy of Morning Song, I begged for my own. I know of no other anthology like it. I can imagine any number of friends and relatives giving it to new parents. It’s not a bunch of poems about babies, but great poems about the trajectories of new lives. When I began reading, I remembered being on the 2 a.m. feeding, rocking the baby with his bottle. How wonderful it would have been to have that book at that hour.”

— Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

“I am delighted to be included in a book that is such a good idea and such an excellent collection.”

— Mary Oliver, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Primitive

“Morning Song is a wonderful gathering of poems that, though intended for new parents, is not fixated on crib and stroller but speaks, rather, to ‘the inner life of mothers and fathers.’ The poems chosen are a fresh, abundant harvest of the new and the old, the plain and the lofty, the great and the little known, but all that variety is pervaded by the editors’ devotion to love and life.”

— Richard Wilbur, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Things of This World and New and Collected Poems

“This marvelous, much-needed anthology will cast a lasting glow over new parents and children alike, not to mention the relatives and friends who care for them.”

— Stephen Young, program director of The Poetry Foundation

“Who better than our most beloved poets to translate all that is unspeakable about our most beloved children—this joy and terror, this terrible love that has bewitched us—into words, into grace. I read the collection in one sitting and then lurched out of bed to watch my own sleeping babies and sigh into the moonlight.”

— Catherine Newman, author of Waiting for Birdy: A Year of Frantic Tedium, Neurotic Angst, and the Wild Magic of Growing a Family

“The birth of a child is an event so extraordinary that parents often lack the words to describe their thoughts and feelings. Collecting some of the finest poems ever written on birth and childhood, Morning Song not only articulates but also expands and refines our sense of the miracle of new life.”

— Dana Gioia, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and winner of the American Book Award

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