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Poetry and Poetry Criticism

Find Criticism of Poetry in Library Databases

These sources are available to anyone in the library or on campus, and from off campus to Humboldt State University faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students only.

Find Poetry Criticism Online

Modern American Poetry is a scholarly, comprehensive site hosted by the Department of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, filled with commentary and criticism on many poems and poets.

Find Criticism of Poetry in the HSU Library

These sources are reference materials and can be located in the main stacks.

  • Epic and Romance Criticism (ref PN 1303 C66 v.1-2)
  • An Index to Criticisms of British and American Poetry (ref PR 89 C5)
  • Poetry Explication (ref PR 502 K85 1980)
  • Guide to American Poetry Explication (ref PS 303 G95 1989 v.1-2)

For books of poetry criticism, use the HSU Library Catalog. You can search for general criticism, criticism of movements, or of individual authors or even poems. When you start with keyword searching, remember to check the Subject(s) for other terms or forms of the words you've used. These will often find more items than your keyword search did.

Books about an author often include analysis of major works. To find books in our general collection, try a keyword search in the HSU Library Catalog, using the author's name and the words criticism and interpretation, for example:

"seamus heaney" criticism interpretation

If this search finds nothing, try:

"rita dove" criticism

Long poems may have entire books written about them. In this case, their titles are part of the subject heading, e.g.:

Eliot, T.S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965. Waste Land.

To find these books, use Advanced Search in the HSU Library Catalog, and search for eliot and waste land in subject. If that search returns nothing, you may be able to find criticism of individual books with a keyword search, in Basic Search, like this:

heaney "station island" criticism