Good morning Hank, it’s Tuesday I can’t find my Norton Anthology of Poetry I don’t mean *the* Norton Anthology of Poetry which can be purchased from any bookstore I mean *my* Norton Anthology of Poetry or, more specifically, my friend Chip’s Norton Anthology of Poetry that I borrowed from him in 11th grade and then eventually stole. The 3rd edition of the Norton Anthology of Poetry is a deeply flawed book for one thing, it contains almost no poems from the last 40 years on account of having been published 35 years ago but it is *my* deeply flawed book, or at the very least, Chip’s and I can’t find it.
One of the central facts of my life is that no matter how many times I reorganize my home library in any given moment I will. not. be able to find the book that I desperately *need* Like, I can always find the New York Public Library’s guide to organizing your home library *except* when I’m embarking on a library reorganization And I can always find my 9th grade copy of 100 poems by e e cummings *except* when it’s March and I want quote that poem about Spring being like a “perhaps hand which comes carefully out of Nowhere” etc. Right now I have no problem locating Everything You Need To Know About The Goth Scene I can find plenty of copies of the Swedish edition of Turtles All The Way Down, and its AMAZING cover but I can not find my Norton Anthology of Poetry It’s not with the poetry It’s not with the Hot Wheels Ultimate track It’s not in the bookshelf behind our bed And it’s not in the background of this video set, although while we’re here… Two books I’ve really enjoyed reading recently are this extraordinarily engrossing biography of Joseph Conrad, which are not words I ever thought I would say and Dactyl Hill Squad which doesn’t come out until September but I’ve been reading an advanced copy with Henry it’s about orphans in the Civil War who ride dinosaurs and IT IS AMAZING but that is a tangent
WHERE IS MY Norton Anthology of Poetry! I mean this is ridiculous. I’ve been looking for my Norton Anthology of Poetry for an entire day I haven’t been able to write a vlogbrothers script because I’ve been looking for my Norton Anthology of Poetry, which, ergo, *has* to become the topic of today’s vlogbrothers video IT’S A THREE POINT TWO POUND BOOK. Nobody like takes a 3.2 pound book on vacation and leaves it there. And yes I know that I could just google the poem I want to read but I don’t *want* to google it, I want to read it in my Norton Anthology of Poetry which HAS to be somewhere in this house I mean it’s not like I would have taken it out of the h- … [whispered] wait a second Could it be at the office? Okay I’m going to drive to the office to look for my Norton Anthology of Poetry and if I don’t find it I *am* going to let it go. *maybe* I’m on my way to my office.
C’mon, big money, no whammies! YES! YES! YES!
My Norton Anthology of Poetry! YEEEEAAAASSSSSS [reading whole poem] The house was quiet and the world was calm. The reader became the book; and summer night Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page, Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be. The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page. And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there Oh! it’s every bit as good as I remember and just what I needed today. Hank, I will see you on Friday.


  1. I'm so grateful and happy you found your Norton Anthology of Poetry. I needed that poem too today and I didn't know it.

  2. I love the line, "the words were spoken as if there was no book" because that was most of the words being spoken within this video.

  3. Everything about this video was just the right thing. Thanks, John.

  4. YAS!!! I get the same frantic feeling when I cannot find something I *need*, no matter how it might seem to others. I'm glad you found it, and thanks for sharing the poem, and thanks for sharing the calm.

  5. Here's a thought, what if John became the new host of The Writer's Almanac? (https://www.writersalmanac.org). I'm not sure if anyone else here listened to that, but I thought it was a great show, which was then discontinued last November. I know there's been some talk since then of bringing it back, and if this program does get revived, I think John should be a top choice to be the new host. For those who liked John's reading of The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm, every episode of The Writer's Almanac concludes with a poem.

  6. I loved it! Can we get a DFTBA Anthology of Short Poetry Audiobook? A portion of the proceeds going to the Project for Awesome?

  7. As an English major with a whole bookshelf of Norton Anthologies, one of which was in my lap when I clicked on this video bc I'm desperately scrambling to finish everything and graduate in the next week but am also desperately burnt out, this video was just what I needed right now.

  8. I once lost a thesaurus. I can't find the words to describe how sad I felt.

  9. I love hearing John read poetry. I can’t stand to read it myself, but if John is reading it, I always stop what I’m doing so I can really take it in.

  10. I have a battered third edition of the Norton Anthology of Poetry. I, too, would feel bereft if I lost it.

  11. John – Let me tell you how much this speaks to me.

    As a child I wanted to be an animator – though more specifically an animation mogul, like Walt Disney. I loved the cartoons of the 1940s and 50s, especially Donald Duck, and wanted to create my own animated empire. Those aspirations pushed me to go to art school and, embracing technology, getting a degree in computer animation. Real life stepped in after I graduated and I wasn't able to pursue my career. The Walt Disney Company started releasing box sets of all the classic 1930s-1960s cartoons not too long after so naturally I had to get them all. It made me feel connected to that dream, and I treasured that they would make such a thing at what was a very important time in my life – a point where I was really angry and sad that my life didn't go the way I wanted it. Years went by and life got crazy – kids were born, houses were purchased and sold and we moved our belongings a few times. Those DVDs got packed away but I knew they were safe. All of our belongings went into storage for a few months as we were selling our house without having one to move into.

    Months later, at the new house, I was unpacking and couldn't find these sets anywhere. I checked all the boxes labelled "DVDs" and came up empty. My world was already in turmoil with moving, getting the children settled, the seemingly never-ending list of items that needed to get done around the house… all I wanted was a respite from the burden of responsibility, to escape for a while into the world that built my childhood, but the box was nowhere to be found. Fueled by a seething anger and despair over the loss I worked feverishly to unpack everything we had yet to put away.

    In the end I found them all, and everything was right in the world once more, but I won't ever forget the despair I faced at the thought of them being lost.

  12. I have over 4000 books in my home. I organize them by the Library of Congress system, label each book and shelve it properly. The shelves are also labeled. Further, all the books are entered into a database (Book Collector) which is searchable. When each book is purchased, it gets labeled using Book Collector's ISBN search, which can be scanned in from my phone. It's entered into the database automatically, thanks to Book Collector, and I shelve it. If I want to find a book, if I know the two letter LOC subject code (say, "DA" for British History) I can go straight to that section of shelves and find it quickly. If not, I have the database on my phone and can find it in moments.

    I seldom have to work at finding a book. Over the years, this has saved me a lot of time and frustration. It takes very little time to do, and makes your books a much better research tool. The Internet is a great tool for reading broadly, but a poor one for reading deeply, so maintaining a personal library is, I think, important.

    And by the way, nobody "loan-steals" my books. In the rare occasions that I'm willing to let the book leave the house in someone else's care I enter the loan into the database, and tell my friend that I'll expect that book back on [date here.] Book Collector will tell me when the loan is up. If it's not back, I'll go get it. I lost dozens of books before I implemented this system.

  13. This video is quite possibly the most perfect Vlogbrothers video in years. That doesn’t mean I haven’t enjoyed all the other blogs, but something about this one was so satisfying. Thank you John. DFTBA

  14. John, I'm not sure if you read these, but this was an ad that ran on one of your vids on your channel that my daughter and I watched today. They are headquartered in my hometown of Minneapolis. I just thought you might want to know (do check out how they present stats). If not, please scroll on. https://www.americanexperiment.org/green-energy-fails/

  15. This video contains all of my home and work library dreams. Life goals.

  16. After suddenly bursting in tears after the last second of this video, I've found myself more engrossed in my fantasy series i have quested upon. Thank you for this video. Thank you for this poem. Thank you.

  17. how many times did John say "Norton anthology of poetry" in this video? 😀

  18. What if he found it & opened the book only to find that particular page was missing?

  19. Can you make a channel where you do nothing except read poems to us?? Please?

  20. I can’t believe I just realized John talks like he writes. Like. This was a very Aza Holmes/Colin Singer video

  21. Why was this so worth it? Like… I was like "the poem can't be that good for this whole video to be about finding it…" and then IT WAS

  22. I lost sense of reality viewing this video, so surreal and amazing, stream of consciousness, flow of jobberish and subconscious, correction and wandering.

  23. John, please just have a channel where you do nothing but read out loud. PLEASE

  24. Can I have one of your spare copies of 'Turtles…' in Swedish, please? 😀

  25. Hi John, good think, that you "found" your anthology.Sometimes it is a mysterous thing- we look for things,which we possess, but at certain times, we are unsure of their location. Thats so true-in more then one way, isn't it?^^ I enjoyed this video very much, but one Question is still left: Do you have some book recommedations for us? I saw one of your older videos about recommedations and loved it…so are there new books in your book pile, which you would recommend?

  26. In tenth grade I was gone for the whole first semester because I had to get radiation 3.5 hours away from my rural hometown, so I took half my classes online through a state program. The most exciting part of it all to 16-year-old me was that they gave me a copy of the Norton Anthology of….I Can't Remember Which One, Oops that I got to keep at the end of the year, which I could hardly believe. And I still have it – though at the moment I'm really wishing it was on my overfilled apartment shelves instead of my overfilled childhood bedroom shelves so I could see which one it is, dammit. 😛

  27. John, as someone who also suffers from anxiety and intrusive thoughts, I hope you'll understand it as a compliment that so many of you videos do the thing where my brain shuts. up. for a goddamn minute and I'm actually in the moment and paying attention to the thing in front of me? This one did that. Lovely.

  28. i have never related to a vlogbrothers video more than i do to this one on this day. thank you

  29. The kids in Dactyl Hill Squad are flying on an ancient, now extinct, flying creature but pterodactyls are not dinosaurs, they are "only" flying reptiles.

  30. I have watched this video four times, John, four times!
    Slams Douglas Adam's lifework on the table
    (No relevance, that book lies the truth on my bed)

  31. Yesterday I THREW AWAY several Norton Anthologies….and five boxes of other books. I am loath to discard books, but these were mustie and their time was past, and happiest of all, I have to clear space on my bookshelves because I just received a grant from Penny Kittle's BOOK LOVE FOUNDATION to buy $2,000 worth of books for my classroom library! For which I am immensely grateful and want to shout out that organization for their tremendous support of education and say if you're interested in that kind of thing, you should check them out…with support, if that's at all possible. (booklovefoundation.org)

  32. Could you post a list of all the books in your home library? Would be helpful in case I run out of books to read

  33. Hello John! First, I want to say you, I'm very sorry, but My English is very bad 😭. I'm fell in love with Your book "The Felt Is In Our Stars". I have watched Film and rode book. That book learned me munch things. THANK YOU!

  34. 💛Perfect ✌💕👍🌠❤blissful books 😊🙏🙋
    🙌💗want to immerse and get lost in the world's and the smell of those pages!💕🌠🐘💓💜😇🐼🌞💕💗🙌😍

  35. I have put off watching this video because I can not find MY Norton Anthology of Poetry. All of my other Norton anthology's are on the same shelf of one bookshelf, but not this one!

  36. "itself is summer and night, itself
    /Is the reader leaning late and reading there."
    This is being 9 years old and the sun being allowed to be out later than me; and so curling up in my window reading by its long light until my exasperated mother comes in, takes my book away and tells me to GO TO SLEEP. Never earlier than 10 minutes after bed, or later than a half hour…I see now what you did there Mum. 🙂 Thank you for reminding me, John…what a fantastic poem.

  37. Uses I've found for my three Norton Anthologies:
    1)Door stoppers
    2) Night stand!
    4) Weights for when I can't go to the gym
    5) Carrying one in my arm, even when I'm not taking the class, with the sole purpose of letting others know that I am indeed studying English

  38. But what's the story behind the Official Program for the 1964 Indianapolis 500

  39. I'm VERY upset that there was not. John Green Happy Dance™ after the book was found. I was preparing myself and then, nothing 🙁

  40. That poem, and I am not joking, brought a single tear to my eye. I didn't know that was actually a thing that could happen.

  41. I’m so here for you reading poetry. If that could become a thing that would be one of the best things.

  42. How did you get an Norton Anthology of anything that isnt printed on that weird onion skin paper?

  43. okay, now i want to buy The Norton Anthology of Poetry but it costs 189.17 dollars. this exact same book. WHY?! if i had money of my own i would gladly buy it but unfortunately that's not the case and parents, like the world are not a wish granting factory (lol, they do grant most of the wishes though)

  44. Me with paper towns, by the way, John… I always re-read Paper Towns, since high school and now I just finished college and I feel like it's time to re-read it, but since I did it in January, I'll read it later this year.
    I love how it brings back memories everytime I read it and how it reminds me of where I've been in life and where I can still go, same with An Abundance of Katherines and now Turtles all the way down… thanks for being such an amazing writer, love from brazil💚💛

  45. The poem itself explains why you cannot satisfyingly google it.

  46. Those things are gold. I thought I lost my Norton Anthology of English literature volume A one time and almost cried. The notes. All the notes. I would be so sad if I had really lost it. It was just on my nightstand.

  47. wait so "the summer night is like a perfection of thought" is one of my favorite quotes and i never knew what poem it came from
    thank you john that is my new favorite poem

  48. I cannot find a Norton anthology of poetry 3 edition. I've looked in every bookstore near me. On Amazon, the only copies are 60 dollars. I will keep looking for my Norton's anthology of poetry, until I find it.

  49. HE HAS SO MANY GOOD BOOKS. I spotted Insurgent on his shelf and then flipped out because I LITERALLY JUST PUT IT DOWN TO WATCH THIS

  50. how many times can you say "Norton Anthology of Poetry" in one video?

    (12, I guess)

  51. You can borrow my Norton Anthology of Western Music, which has songs with lyrics, which is basically also poetry.

  52. Now you’re making me wish I had kept my Norton Anthology from uni 😂 #solditforsweetsweetdollabills

  53. I bought an abridged version of this book just for this poem and it wasnt in there

  54. John, I don't know if you read comments on videos that are 7 months old but I just want to say that while watching this video, for reasons I can't quite articulate, I decided that I should ask my then-girlfriend to marry me. About two-and-a-half months later (ring shopping is surprisingly hard), I asked her, and in another 10 months, she's going to be my wife and I'm going to be her husband. Don't get me wrong, I would've decided to pop the question eventually but this video happened to be the catalyst for it happening sooner rather than later, and for that I will be eternally grateful. So, thank you!

  55. I don’t usually stop a video to comment, but I just had to for this: ORPHANS IN THE CIVIL WAR WHO RIDE DINOSAURS?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!! Awesome!!!!!!!!!!

  56. OMG… I totally do this at least once a week to some degree and to the full extent once a month.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *