Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

An Invitation to Poetry: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

An Invitation to Poetry: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology

Article excerpt

An Invitation to Poetry: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology, edited by Robert Pinsky and Maggie Dietz. Norton, August 2004. $29.95

The third of an ongoing series, and perhaps the best so far, this anthology brings together 200 poems from the Favorite Poem Project, the brainchild of then-Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, who asked regular folks to send him their favorite poem, with an explanation of their choice. They did-nearly twenty thousand of them did-and the result, three anthologies so far, points to the depth and breadth of poetry's hold on the American consciousness.

The poems offered here are rich, diverse, interesting, moving, funny. The poems are presented alphabetically by the author's last name, so there are some pleasing juxtapositions: O'Hara's wonderful "Poem: (Lana Turner Has Collapsed!)" is followed by George Oppen's lovely, quiet "Psalm," followed by Wilfred Owen's moving, stunning, disturbing "Dulce Et Decorum Est. …

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