What puts people off abstraction is what puts people off a slick character who keeps changing the subject. Why did you call us all here today? C.D. Wright is a popular poet because she uses abstraction to zero in on a subject rather than to dodge it.
In the year that America — in the form of Obama's commissioning of a poem to mark his inauguration — honored poetry, poetry honors America. David Lehman, distinguished editor of Scribner's acclaimed series, BEST AMERICAN POETRY has tapped David Wagoner as guest editor for 2009, a poet who brings his keen sense of America to the anthology.
The Best Canadian Poetry in English: 2009 Edited by A.F. Moritz, Series Editor: Molly Peacock
From the long list of 100 poems drawn from Canadian literary journals and magazines this year’s guest editor, award winning poet A. F. Moritz, has chosen 50 of the best Canadian poems published in 2008. With this anthology, readers – often baffled by proliferating poems and poets – will be able to tap into the remarkable and vibrant Canadian poetry scene, checking out the currents – and cross currents – of poetry in a volume distilled by a round robin of distinguished editorial taste.
Watch Christian Bök and Carmine Starnino duke it out in their discussion of contemporary Canadian poetry. Filmed at Mount Royal University, Calgary, 26 November 2009. Moderated by Kit Dobson, organized by Kelly Hewson, Micheline Maylor, and the Department of English at Mount Royal.
Edward Hirsch began writing a column called "Poet’s Choice" in the Washington Post Book World in 2002. This book brings together those enormously popular columns, some of which have been revised and expanded, to present a minicourse in world poetry. Poet’s Choice includes the work of more than one hundred poets from ancient times to the present—among them Sappho, W. B. Yeats, Czeslaw Milosz, Primo Levi, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda, Amy Lowell, Mark Strand, and many more—and shares them with all of Hirsch’s inimitable enthusiasm and joy. Rich, relevant, and inviting, the book offers us the fruits of a life lived in poetry.
Here is a poem from the collection Scars by Bulgarian poet Blaga Dimitrova.
Write each of your poems
as if it were your last.
In this century, saturated with strontium,
charged with terrorism,
flying with supersonic speed,
death comes with terrifying suddenness.
Send each of your words
like a last letter before execution,
a call carved on a prison wall.
You have no right to lie,
no right to play pretty little games.
You simply won't have time
to correct your mistakes.
Write each of your poems,
with blood — as if it were your last.