Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Best Poems of 1996

Chris Burden ….. The Big Wheel
Chris Burden ….. White Light/White Heat
Andre Breton ….. Choose Life
Andre Breton ….. The Deadly Helping Hand
Andre Breton ….. Ghostly Stances
Andre Breton ….. Unbreakable Fishnet
Andre Breton ….. Vigilance
Clark Coolidge ….. Brass Land I Live In
Clark Coolidge ….. Crawlway Heights
Clark Coolidge ….. Early Hours Colors
Clark Coolidge ….. In the Place of Names
Clark Coolidge ….. One of the Quitter’s Obliquities
Laurie Duggan ….. from the Ash Range: 5.1
a Hawaiian song ….. Night Births (from the Kumulipo)
Geoffrey Lehmann ….. from Ross’s Poems: 36
Geoffrey Lehmann ….. from Ross’s Poems: 57
Philip Levine ….. You Can Have It
a Maori geneaology ….. The Genealogy of the Gods from Primal Nothingness
Pablo Neruda ….. Autumn Returns
Pablo Neruda ….. XIV Every Day You Play …
Pablo Neruda ….. Lone Gentleman (a variant translation from the version copied in 1992)
Jacob Nibenegenesabe ….. from the Wishing Bone Cycle
Lance Olsen ….. Stories
a Quechua song ….. “It’s today I’m supposed”
Nicholas Sanz-Gould ….. Sad Sun
Derek Walcott ….. from A Sea-Chantey (see other excerpt copied in 1991)
Judith Wright ….. Skins

Every so often I include in my personal anthology things that aren’t presented as poems. The two Chris Burden items I photocopied from an art book. The descriptions of the art pieces fascinated me. I will also occasionally copy out very brief stories or quotations, a definition, a list, language that achieves poetry and that I think is good company for the poems.

I’m also willing to copy out more than one translation of the same poem if the versions strike me differently. When I read several Sappho books I encountered the same poems translated by different people. In the case of Sappho I don’t think I copied out the same poem in different versions. With Pablo Neruda’s Lone Gentleman, however, each version was excellent but different enough that I didn’t want to lose what either one did.

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