Books: The Little Magazine That Could

THE "POETRY" ANTHOLOGY: 1912-1977

Edited by Daryl Hine and Joseph Parisi

Houghton Mifflin; 555 pages; $20 hardcover, $10.95 paperback

In 1912 a middle-aged woman named Harriet Monroe persuaded 100 fellow Chicagoans to contribute $50 apiece for five years running. Why? To underwrite a monthly magazine that would publish the best new poetry. As an investment, the project had its drawbacks. First, no one had ever gone broke underestimating America's hunger for good verse. Second, even if acceptable, bill-paying poetry was available, Harriet Monroe seemed singularly ill-equipped to find it. Her own best efforts in the...

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