Sunday, July 19, 2015

Because I have been on a steady diet of words since the age of three

The Best American Poetry 2013The Best American Poetry 2013 by David Lehman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A short review this time -

A poetry anthology is like a great, big international conference: you have poems from various states, countries and cultures present, each sitting in their respectful pages, their presence contributing to the literary atmosphere of the room. Some poems are absolutely outstanding, the kind of people you want to talk to over and over again at such a gathering. Some are the guests you speak to once and then forget about soon afterwards. Others seem like they are putting on airs, trying too hard, communicating at you from a level that is both inaccessible and convoluted. Yet as it always is with meeting new people, it is always a matter of personality - I don't blame the poems any more than I blame myself.

From this collection, notables include "Foundling" by the ever-reliable Billy Collins, the very relatable "Why I Write Poetry" by Major Jackson, the stunningly powerful "The Kind of Man I Am at the DMV." Anthologies offer such a wide variety of different styles and voices that one reads not only for pleasure, but also for discovery and guidance.

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