Death Poems

An anthology of poetry about death from ancient times to today


Death Poems

An anthology of poetry about death from ancient times to today

Pretty much every poet in every age has written about death and dying. Along with love, it might be the most popular subject in poetry. Yet, until now, no anthology has gathered the best and most famous of these verses in one place.

edited by Russ Kick  /  published by Disinformation (Red Wheel / Weiser)

328 pages  /  softcover

320 poems  /  classic & contemporary

Poets include
Jane Austen
Mary Jo Bang
Willis Barnstone
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Charles Baudelaire
William Blake
Charlotte Brontë
Lord Byron
Lucille Clifton
Andrei Codrescu
Wanda Coleman
Billy Collins
E.E. Cummings
Emily Dickinson
Linh Dinh
John Donne
Ralph Waldo Emerson

T.S. Eliot
Nick Flynn
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Frost
Kimiko Hahn
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Victor Hugo
Langston Hughes
James Joyce
C.S. Lewis
Amy Lowell
W.S. Merwin
Edna St. Vincent Millay
John Milton
Pablo Neruda
Thich Nhat Hanh


Friedrich Nietzsche
Edgar Allan Poe
Ezra Pound
Rainer Maria Rilke
Christina Rossetti
Percy Byssche Shelley
William Stafford
Wallace Stevens
Ruth Stone
Wislawa Szymborska
Dylan Thomas
Walt Whitman
William Carlos Williams
W.B. Yeats
and a couple hundred more....




Listed below in bold are the twelve themed sections of the book, which contain from eight to sixty-seven poems each, for a total of 320 poems.


The Nature of Death
In which the poets reflect on what death is, meditate on why it happens, and pontificate on what it means to us

Seeing Death
In which the poets encounter Death in the flesh

Those Who Have Gone (and the Ones Still Here)
In which the poets grieve, remember, and say goodbye (occasionally the dead have their say, too)

In which the poets prove that love is stronger than death . . . mostly

The Four-Legged and the Winged
In which the poets remind us that everything that lives, dies

In which the poets shows us the reality of war and murder, disasters and terrorism

Facing One’s Demise
In which the poets deal with the inevitable

The Crossing
In which the poets chart the moment of death

Remains and Rituals
In which the poets examine corpses, visit graveyards, attend funerals, and otherwise deal with physical remains

What Comes Next
In which the poets offer their best guesses about the afterlife (or lack thereof)

Carpe Diem
In which the poets beseech us to live before we die

In which the poets write of things that don’t fit neatly into any of the other chapters

Author index

Title index

First line index

Credits and permissions