Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Poems to Read: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Poems to Read: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology

Article excerpt

Poems to Read: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology, edited by Robert Pinsky and Maggie Dietz.

One of my favorite poetry anthologies has long been Rattlebag, edited by Seamus Heany and Ted Hughes, which has the charming quality of being neither historical nor comprehensive, neither chronological nor thematic, but simply a collection of poems the two men enjoy, presented in a more or less random order which pleased them. I mention Rattlebag because Poems to Read, though perhaps not yet one of my favorites, shares somewhat of the same virtues. While the first anthology from the Favorite Poems Project (a singular publishing success, for poetry) contained perhaps less surprising selections of common readers' favorite poems, this volume contains a second, deeper culling of project participants' choice poems, as well as a number of poems added by the editors themselves, most prefaced by readers' comments. The resulting book is a pleasure to read, full of slightly off-beat poems, excellent works by great poets but not the same doggone poems that pop up in every "favorite" anthology on the shelf. …

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