My Anthology of Magnificence

Robert Pinsky in his book Singing School says that there is no substitute for study, not dabbling nor doing short courses.  He suggests that:

If you want to learn singing, you must study—not just peruse or experience or dabble in or enjoy or take a course in, but study—monumental examples of magnificent singing: study not just a pretty good poem in a recent magazine, or something that seems cool or seems to be in fashion, or that you have been taught in school, but examples that you feel are magnificent. “Magni-ficent”: the Latin roots of the word mean “making great.

Rather than prescribing a list of poems/poets/genres, Pinsky places you, the neophyte poet, in the decision making chair, encouraging you to seek out poems that you think are magnificent, to study and read them closely, create an anthology of personal magnificence and significance.

This page will house my online Anthology of Magnificence, for both myself and my readers benefit and ease of use:



  1. Mandy Coe's, When We Found Flowers Could Speak
  2. Helen Mort's, Fox Miles. (link will take you to her poetry archive page)
  3. Seamus Heaney's Digging.
  4. Thom Gunn's The Hug.
  5. Anthony Lawrence's Three Men.
  6. Philip Hodgins', Shooting the Dogs
  7. Norman MacCaig's Ineducable me
  8. Liz Berry's When I Was A Boy
  9. Felicity Plunkett's, Lost Sea Voices
  10. Kenneth Slessor's Crow Country
  11. Sian Hughes' The Sacking Offence
  12. Caroline Bird's A Love Song
  13. Sean O'Brien's Sunday in a Station of the Metro
  14. Clive James' Japanese Maple
  15. Gillian Clarke's Family House
  16. Maria Takolander's Hotel Room
  17. Eileen Chnong's Ritual
  18. Beth Spencer's Leaving this House
  19. Sarah Day Hierophant
  20. JV Cunningham Perfect Imperfection
  21. Ouyang Yu New Accents
  22. Robert Frost Acquainted with the Night
  23. John Burnside Insomnia in Southern Illinois
  24. Robert Gray, A Northern Town
  25. Paula Meehan, Single Room with a Bath, Edinburgh
  26. Glyn Maxwell, Old Smile at the Roast
  27. Kay Ryan, A Certain Kind of Eden
  28. Carol Ann Duffy, Anne Hathaway
  29. Chase Twichell, To the Reader: If You Asked Me
  30. Geoff Page, Smalltown Memorials
  31. Paul Muldoon Why Brownlee Left
  32. Howard Nemerov, The Consent , 
  33. Rosemarie Waldrop Like Holderlin 
  34.  Michael Lista The Scarborough Grace 
  35. Katrina Roberts Guns
  36. Katrina RobertsBlue
  37. Katrina Roberts Estuary 
  38. Jane Hirshfield. To Judgement: An Assay
  39. Alison Whittaker   Scrag Lit
  40. Lorraine Mariner Factory
  41. Alex Skovron, Cyril and the Snails
  42. Robert Adamson Sugarloaf Bay, Middle Harbour 
  43. Esther Morgan, This Morning
  44. LK Holt's Playhouse
  45. Sarah Howe's Night in Arizona
  46. Kate Clanchy's  Miscarriage, Midwinter
  47. Billy Collins'  Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep a Gun in the House
  48. Dennis Greene's Wheat Field
  49. Jane Clarke's Every Life
  50. Jane Clarke's The Suck
  51. Fiona Wright's Almost Aubade, Melbourne
  52. Richard Hugo's Mill at Romesdal
  53. Richard Hugo's In Stafford Country
  54. William E Stafford The Farm on the Great Plain
  55. Richard Hugo's Back of Gino's Place
  56. John Brehm's, When My Car Broke Down. 
  57. Kathyrn Hummel's Last Drinks Adelaide II
  58. David Brook's, Broad Bean Meditation.
  59. Les Murray's Broad Bean Sermon
  60. Brian Johnstone's, Tobacco Road
  61. Claire Askew's, Spitfires
  62. Lisa Brockwell's Blackout
  63. Stuart Barnes', Ebon cans
  64. JV Birch's, Leaving
  65. PS Cottier's, The unpleasant poet elf
  66. Rin Ishigaki's Moving On
  67. Naomi Shihab Nye's, The Books We Haven't Touched in Years
  68. Kim Moore's Picnic at Stickle Pike.
  69. Billy Marshall Stoneking's, One Last Poem.

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