[MLA] How do I cite a poem in a collection or anthology?
Option #1: A poem original to the collection / anthology
Procedure: Choose the "Anthology/Collection" citation type, then choose the tab for the appropriate publication medium.
Example #1: A citation for an original poem in a print anthology of multiple authors
Katz, Bobbi. "Lessons from a Painting by Rothco." Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art. Ed. Jan Greenberg. New York: Abrams, 2001. 55. Print.
Example #2: A citation for an original poem in a print collection by a single author
Oliver, Mary. "Li Po and the Moon." Evidence: Poems. Boston: Beacon, 2009. 7. Print.
Option #2: A poem previously published elsewhere
Procedure: Same as above, but add the original date of publication in the "Year original work was authored or published" field. Note that MLA does not require full publication information for the original book in which the poem was published. If the original publication information is essential, you may use option 3 below to provide more detail.
Option #3: A reprinted poem
In general, only the date of original publication is necessary (see option 2). However, sometimes the original source of the material might be important to your reader.
Procedure: Choose the "Anthology/Collection" citation type, then change the first section of the form from the default "Story, Essay, Poem, Longer Work" to "Reprint/Excerpt: Book." This will give you a form where you can provide both information about the anthology and information about the book in which the poem was originally published.
Example #3: A citation for an poem from a print collection by a single author, reprinted in a print anthology of multiple authors
Levertov, Denise. "Witness." Evening Train. New York: New Directions, 1992. 97. Rpt. in A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry. Ed. Czeslaw Milosez. New York: Harcourt, 1996. 23. Print.
Example #4: A citation for an poem from a print collection by a single author, reprinted in a collection by the single author
Stevens, Wallace. "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird." Harmonium. New York: Knopf, 1931. 21-4. Rpt. in The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens. By Stevens. New York: Knopf, 1961. 92-5. Print.
If you aren't sure if the poem was originally published elsewhere, you can look for clues:
Test #1: Look for a list of "Permissions," "Copyright Credits" or "Acknowledgements" at the front or back of the book, or even a copyright credit on the same page as the poem. Since an editor of an anthology must obtain permission from the copyright owner to reprint a poem, if you find a credit statement, you have a reprinted poem.
Test #2: The title of the anthology may indicate that the poem is new or reprinted.
Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art edited by Jan Greenberg. (original poems)
The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens. (reprinted poems)
Test #3: A preface or introduction explains how the poems were collected or created.