In his seminal work, Poetry's Playground: The Culture of Contemporary American Children's Poetry (Wayne State University Press, 2007, p. 109), Joseph Thomas identifies eight key anthologies he suggests are children’s poetry essentials. He notes he chose anthologies with editors from “differing ideological standpoints” and from a variety of “historical moments,” hoping to be “descriptive, not prescriptive” and lay the groundwork for “future inquiry.” They are listed here in chronological order.
The list begins:
Untermeyer, Louis, comp. 1959. The Golden Treasury of Poetry. New York: Golden Press.
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