Some off-the-cuff reactions...
Have to admit I've never seriously perused The Voice That Is Great Within Us. Came out in 1970, the year I went to college. Already by then I considered myself a bonafide poet, having written many poems (starting around 1965) & having read TWO (two!) NY School anthologies, as well as that fine collection, A Gift of Watermelon Pickle (9th grade).
I'm sure I picked this up & glanced through it more than once. It was the kind of thing that scared me off.
Still in print... but the physical book says something about the state of poetry in the USA. Only $8., from Bantam Books - yet the blurred typeface, the sloppy production, is close to unreadable. You get what you pay for.
Might be interesting to compare Carruth's anthology to American Hybrid. & before compiling a new Voice That Is Great, we might want to linger here a while...
Strengths - clarity, simplicity, elegance. These poems are made things, distinct utterances. A clean austerity. Today we seem to have displaced this discursive independence. Poems are always pointing somewhere else - toward something personal, political, topical, moral (& most often, half-educated academic pseudo-aesthetical). Clever, officious, detached (or all three), they elbow you in the ribs. The fence between art & 24/7 news cycle etc. has been torn down. This makes contemporary poems both more knowing & less solid, somehow. (I'm GENERALIZING.)
Weaknesses - goes back to the same thing. Carruth has an instinct for the well-made poem, long after the demise of "New Criticism". Many of his selections seem to snap neatly shut, with a smug pursing of lips. I'm sure they (the poets) didn't think so : they were comparing themselves to those really neat snuff-boxes (think Frost, Hecht, Wilbur), whose Hippocrene perfection they had avoided (by way of free verse & a touch of Hemingway).
Missing : Richard Hugo, Edwin Honig, John Tagliabue... many more, certainly. Michael Harper (& these are just my personal acquaintances). But that's how it is with anthologies.
I don't mean to emphasize (supposed) weaknesses. Very glad that Joseph pointed this way. & I'm just starting to read it. (With the same old trepidation. Our greatest strength is ignorance.)
p.s. someone recently - a non-poet, but a poetry reader - sent a comment to one of the posts at the Harriet blog (I've looked for it, but haven't been able to find it). He said that in contemporary poetry he sees a lot of technical sophistication, learned in MFA programs - but not a lot of gravitas : that seriousness (of purpose) which we find compelling. There is some of that, however, all through the Carruth anthology : like certain paintings from the 30s & 40s. Clarity, simplicity - terse & direct presentation. Ordinary speech, forged & hammered into elegance.