Friday, December 31, 2010

Why aren't we all reading poetry again?

It is not a resolution, as it's been building over the last year, and I'm now confident it will continue. I'm really loving poetry right now. Not in a read-a-bit/write-some-garbage kind of way, but in a why-did-I-ever-stop-reading-this-and-who-do-I-read-next kind of way. There's much to discover.

To help me with this, I received a fantastic Christmas gift: my partner gave me his own version of a poetry starter kit, with a number of books of trustworthy contemporary poets to kick off the new year. I thought I'd list them all here with links, as we've listed great poetry books on SotB before. It's always worth spreading the word!

In no particular order:

Martin Espada's A Mayan Astronomer in Hell's Kitchen (Norton)
Maureen N. McLane's Same Life (FSG)
Denise Levertov's Making Peace (New Directions)
Audre Lorde's Coal (Norton)
Robert Hass's Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005 (Ecco/HarperCollins)
Philip Levine's Breath (Knopf)
Pablo Neruda's Odes to Common Things (Bulfinch)
Federico Garcia Lorca's Ode to Walt Whitman & Other Poems (City Lights)
Grace Paley's Fidelity (FSG)

As I start to read through this incredible collection of poetry books, I can look to Jeff Gordinier's advice. You'll recall that he's been in touch with us here at SotB before. In fact, he's the one that provided a list of contemporary poetry books referenced earlier in this post. Well he has a relatively new post over at the Poetry Foundation blog giving us all permission to flip through poetry books. It's liberating. Thanks, Jeff!

And happy new year!

1 comment:

Biblibio said...

Poetry is my Achilles heel. I like many older poems - classic, romantic, rhymes in all the right places, etc. - but I've always had a hard time with the getting it part of poetry. I almost always feel like I'm missing something. Poetry is so personal - sometimes it clicks, sometimes it just... doesn't.

I hope your new poetry books will click (and that you have a wonderful new reading year)!