Saturday, October 21, 2006

Poetry Lists

Rob MacKenzie has posted a list of his favorite 25 poetry volumes and, in so doing, has triggered off my own compulsive listmaking urge. I'm going to do something a bit different from his list, though; I'm going to post 2 lists of 10 volumes each, one of living poets and one of (comparatively recently) dead poets. These lists identify books that I most frequently pick up to read when I want to just enjoy some well-written poetry; they also would likely be very different if compiled next month. Like Rob, I will include only 1 volume by any one individual, and the order is alphabetical by author.

I. Ten Top Living Poets' Volumes

1. Pallbearers Envying the One Who Rides, Stephen Dobyns
2. Atlantis
, Mark Doty
3. The Wild Iris
, Louise Gluck

4. Opened Ground: Selected Poems 1966-1996, Seamus Heaney
5. Learning Human: Selected Poems
, Les Murray
6. Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998
, Linda Pastan
7. Colors Passing Through Us
, Marge Piercy
8. Firekeeper: Selected Poems
, Revised and Expanded, Pattiann Rogers
9. Supernatural Love: Poems 1976-1992, Gjertrud Schnackenberg
10. Without End: New and Selected Poems
, Adam Zagajewski

II. Top Ten Dead Poets' Volumes

Collected Poems 1951-1971, A. R. Ammons
The Collected Poems of Amy Clampitt
, Amy Clampitt
Collected Poems
, Ted Hughes
Making Certain It Goes On: The Collected Poems of Richard Hugo
, Richard Hugo
Intensive Care: Selected and New Poems
, Miroslav Holub
Collected Poems, Donald Justice
New and Collected Poems 1931-2001
, Czeslaw Milosz
Collected Poems 1920-1954
, Eugenio Montale
Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy
, Al Purdy
The Biggest Egg in the World, Marin Sorescu


Blogger Rob said...

Good list, Hedgie. I might do a dead poets one soon. I've never read some of the poets on your list - part of that UK/North America divide - but I'll check them out.

1:04 AM  
Blogger Plus Ultra said...

Stephen Dobyns...I like his poetry too!

7:06 PM  
Blogger About the Group said...

no collins? kooser? did i miss them?

thanks for the list.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Hedgie said...

Thanks for the visits and comments.

As for Collins and Kooser, Collins has never been on my list of favorite poets; Kooser is, but not (this week, at least) in the top 10, although he'd almost certainly make it into the top 20.

8:13 PM  
Blogger SarahJane said...

How did I miss this list before?
Among your living, I also like the Doty volume but find the Pastan book a bit of a yawn. Among the dead, I have and enjoy that Clampitt book (isn't it lovely) but it would make my top ten.

i must look into the Sorescu book. I love him... how come I never heard of that one?


5:44 AM  
Blogger Hedgie said...

The Sorescu was originally published in '87, although it's still available; it's a collection of translations by a number of fine poets including Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Paul Muldoon, Michael Longley and several others, with multiple translations of some pieces which really provides a fascinating perspective both on Sorescu and the translators.

Pastan is not everyone's favorite, and she can be a little thin at times, but she has a fine way with metaphors that makes up for her less stirring moments, for me at least. And Clampitt is definitely an acquired taste.

9:36 PM  

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