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English: Poetry & Poetry Criticism

This guide features some of the most helpful resources for students studying English at Brooklyn College.


Poetry Criticism



To find information on a poet or critical interpretations of his or her works, begin via OneSearch.  In the upper right-hand box labeled “BROWSE,” click on the dropdown “Browse by subject.” Then, type in the author’s name (last name, first name) in the search box.

e.g.  ginsberg, allen


Literature Resource Center

This database is a good place to find biographical and critical articles on literary authors and their works.  Simply type the poet’s last name “and” the title of the work you are looking for in the search box.

e.g.  Yeats and second coming

A major advantage this source provides is that all of the articles listed are available in full text.

MLA (Modern Language Association) International Bibliography

The most comprehensive database in the field, this reference source provides access to more than 2 million bibliographic citations to journal articles, books, and dissertations from 1926 to the present in academic disciplines such as language, literature, folklore, linguistics, literary theory and criticism, and the dramatic arts. The database can be searched by author, title, subject, and keyword.  Keywords can be connected with Boolean operators (“and,” “or,” “not”) to combine terms:

e.g.  Find:  (marriage or adultery or sex) and Canterbury Tales

The Disadvantage: While some results will link to full text, most will only provide citations, which will then have to be checked in OneSearch or the e-journals finder to verify whether or not the BC Library owns the item.



Project Muse

Gale eBooks


Look under the poet’s last name, then under the title of the poem that interests you.  If the citation is to a journal article, check the e-journals finder to see whether or not it is available in full text; if it is not, check OneSearch to see if the library owns a paper or microfilm copy.  If the citation is to a book, check OneSearch under the title of the book or the author or editor’s last name (do a keyword search or use the BROWSE search for exact title/author searches).  

Poetry explication: a checklist of interpretation since 1925 of British and American poems past. (Brooklyn Reference Z2014.P7 K8) Note: A key to periodical title abbreviations in the citations appears at the front of the volume; references to book titles are found in a bibliography at the end of the volume.

Poetry Criticism. v.1 - (Brooklyn - Reference - PN101.P499) in the Reference Annex

Magill’s Bibliography of Literary Criticism. 4v. (Brooklyn - Reference - Z6511 .M25)

American and British Poetry: A Guide to the Criticism 1925-1990. 2v. (Brooklyn - Reference - Z1231.P7 A44)

Articles on 20th Century Literature: An Annotated Bibliography, 1954-1970. 7v. (Brooklyn - Reference - Z6519 .A7 1954/1970)

Articles on American Literature 1900-1975. (Brooklyn - Reference - Z1225 .A77)

Guide to British poetry explication. 4v. (Brooklyn - Reference - Z2014.P7 M34 1991)


Critical Survey of Poetry: English Language Series (Brooklyn - Reference - PR502 .C85)

Critical Survey of Poetry: Foreign Language Series (Brooklyn - Reference - PN1111 .C7)