Poetry From An Old Year

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The end of the year is almost here. See. That rhymed. I’m a poet. And I didn’t know it.

I’ve always hated that joke. People who tell that joke are often the same people who pretend they’re about to say ‘I feel smarter’ but then actually say ‘I smell farter.’ Yeah. I’ve met people who say that. And that ‘poet’ ‘didn’t know it’ thing and they’re both reprehensible. Don’t every say either of those things. My genitals will burn for thousand years in a pit of unquenchable hellfire just for having written them above.

On to the good stuff now.

This is a ‘best of’ list from Michael Robbins, covering poetry from 2013. Sort of. He actually just lists stuff he read in 2013 that he really, really liked. And that works for me. Especially because he’s got some interesting suggestions and insightful comments.

This list is less interesting. It’s a little too kumbaiyah (did I spell that right?) for me (paging Seth Abramson; we’ve found your slightly hippier soul mate). But what the heck? It’s got some good ideas for future reading anyway.

Slate.com keeps up their tradition of irregularly indulging in strong defenses of poetry with their best of the year list.

Surely a poetry ‘best of 2013’ list by Rae Armantrout has to be worth something, right?

The Guardian‘s critics have their anglo-centric favorites, too.

Evie Shockley has some strong feelings on the year’s best, as well.

Here are some more.

Some more, and with the obvious exception of Levertov, I haven’t heard of any of them. I feel kind of bad about that.

And I don’t know any of these!

Salon.com’s list of five underrated books from 2013 is sixty percent poetry. If you studies that humanities, that means three of the five are poetry. Well, sort of. One is by a poet and has her poetry, but also a lot of prose. Maybe we should say 50% poetry? Anne Carson, who used to love, but fell out of love with and did not read this one, but it also includes a new selection of Pierre Reverdy which I read and enjoyed very much.

So, you’ve got something like thirty-six hours to read the books from their lists. Depending on your time zone. Ready, set, go!

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