Rate this book

The Best American Poetry, 2012 (2012)

by Mark Doty(Favorite Author)
3.53 of 5 Votes: 2
1439181535 (ISBN13: 9781439181539)
review 1: I buy the BAP every year. I particularly enjoy that the poets write a little blurb about the poem in their bio.In recent years, I buy it as much for the intro and foreword, as the majority of the poetry has not grabbed me. David Lehman’s foreword is always insightful and interesting. This year’s guest editor, Mark Doty, is a writer whom I’ve always enjoyed. His nonfiction is richly detailed, and his poetry engages me. I was eager to read his thoughts on the state of contemporary poetry; however, I found the first 2/3 of his introduction incomprehensible. I struggled through to the end, where he writes:The reader who turns to poetry in order to find some music that echoes what we can’t say, to read the inscription of our common lot, to be challenged and engaged, to ... morebe less alone, to be startled awake.Finally, I thought. This is what poetry is all about; this is what poetry means to me. I began reading the poems, looking for the music. My usual routine for this type of anthology is to read only a few poems at a time, to think and digest, rather than to race through. I found it all too easy to put this book down after 2 or 3 poems and not pick it up again for a few days. Overall, the poems did not sing, did not dance or shimmer, did not cry out to me. A few poems stand out, call me back. James Allen Hall, in “One Train’s Survival Depends on the Other Derailed,” holds me with lines such as: we walk a greasy sidewalk to a private courtyard, he kisses me and the world goes magnolia,Bruce Snider’s magnificent poem, “The Drag Queen Dies in New Castle,” snagged me with the title. The poem speaks about a gay man coming home to a rural area to die. Snider weaves the details of the drag queen through the reality of rural life in an understated way. but the church women bought your wigs for the Christmas pageant that year, your blouses sewn into a quilt under whichKevin Young writes of the doctor trying to find the baby’s heartbeat early in a pregnancy. As the doctor is unable to locate the heartbeat, tension builds with unique images and metaphors. The poem ends with a triumphant description: Only later, much, will your mother begin to believe your drumming in the distance-my Kansas City and Congo Square, this jazz band vamping on inside her. (Expecting)
review 2: Well written, meaningful, interesting poetry gently floats off the page, as if swaying to an unknown music, and glides right into your soul. Although I can't say that I enjoyed all of the messages being shared in this book, and certainly not all of them spoke to my soul, this collection helped me remember how much I love reading poetry, and what a personal experience it is. For me, poetry, when done well, does not need the shock value of vulgar language or sexual innuendo. Perhaps my idea of poetry is stuck in the 19th century? My biggest complaint with modern poetry is it doesn't come with a reliable rating system. So, I retreat back to the woods, with my Thoreau or Whitman, and leave the 21st century behind. less
Reviews (see all)
I felt like it was lacking a wide representation of authors and styles.
Stephen Dunn was the only reason to buy/read this one.
I love this poetry series--have all vol from 1989 on:)
This should be called "Best American Death Poetry. "
I like to keep up with current poetry this way
Write review
Review will shown on site after approval.
(Review will shown on site after approval)