Friday, January 06, 2012

The Best Poems of 2011

Anita Barrows ….. “The Ancestors”
Guy Bennett …. “Poem after Josef Sudek” and “Condensed Poem” and “Necessary Poem”
Molly Fisk ….. “Red River” and “This is the Story of My Life”
Angela Weld Grimke ….. “Tenebris”
Paul Guest ….. “Elba”
Judith Herzberg ….. “Kinneret”
Rachel Korn ….. “From Here to There”
Donna M. Lane ….. “Pajamas”
Nicanor Parra ….. “A Man”
Gyorgy Petri ….. “I Am Stuck, Lord, on Your Hook”
Edouard Roditi ….. “The Paths of Prayer”
Harvey Shapiro ….. “Like a Beach”
Leonora Speyer ….. “The Ladder”
Anna Swir ….. “He Was Lucky”
Julia Vinograd ….. “Street Musician”
Stanislaw Wygodski ….. “Winter Journey”

plus haiku by John Brandi (2), Margaret Chula (2), Cid Corman (2), Raffael de Gruttola, Diane di Prima, Bernard Lionel Einbond, David Elliott, Sandra Fuhringer, Christopher Herold (3), Brent Partridge, Alan Pizzarelli, Jane Reichhold, Frank K. Robinson, Alexis Rotella (2), Edith Shiffert, Ruby Spriggs, Tom Tico, Anita Virgil

Did you make my list of the Best Poems of 2011? If you did, yay for you, I guess. If you didn’t, well, maybe I didn’t read any of your poems.

The list is a favorites list, which poems I liked best of those read in 2011.

I keep a stack of placemarks ready whenever I’m reading poetry. If a poem strikes me just right, I pop a placemark into the book so I can revisit. If, after several rereadings, I decide it’s a poem I don’t want to leave behind, I hand copy the poem and slip it into a 3-ring binder. I’ve been doing this for about 24 years so I’ve got some fat binders.The one I’ve been filling for the last twelve years has finally gotten too tight, so I’m moving it to the archive shelf and starting anew.

On the first of the year I read aloud all the poems I’ve collected over the previous year. Usually I’m reading to myself, in case you were wondering. This year Kent listened in. Of course, he had his own opinions and wasn’t afraid to question my choices. If you want your tastes reflected, friends, fill your own notebooks. On the whole, though, he seemed to enjoy it, even tearing up over Donna Lane’s “Pajamas.”

I haven’t posted a “Best Poems” list since 2008, so I have 2009 and 2010 to share with you folks. Yes, I had favorites those years, too.

The Best Poems of 2008

The Best Poems of 2007

The Best Poems of 2006

The Best Poems of 2005

The Best Poems of 2004

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