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Wednesday 5: 5 Poets I love

April 27, 2011

As April, Poetry Month, comes to a close, it seems only fair to give poets their due. Picking five poets is hard! But these are the ones I return to the most, lately. You’ll see a common theme, if you know poetry— I like very visual poems, and poems that keep a tight focus on the ordinary.

1. Billy Collins. From “Taking off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes” to walking out the front door, to egg salad stains on the margins of a book, he has a gift for focusing on the ordinary, and making it lovely.

2.  John Berryman. John Berryman’s Dream Songs are deeply strange, and also deeply compelling. I have a book of them. I think I have not read them all.

Bats have no bankers and they do not drink
and cannot be arrested and pay no tax
and, in general, bats have it made.

3. Andrea Hollander Budy– She did a reading at my high school, and blew me away. Years later, I am still blown away.

4. David Tucker- I got to know David Tucker and his poetry when he was working with my dad at the Star-Ledger. Sometimes he writes about the newsroom. And he has a lovely reading voice. He’s also a very nice person.

5. Marilyn Hacker- because I didn’t get  formal poetry til I read a collection of her poems. Villanelles and sestinas that look like natural forms, not just exercises in  how to get the lines right.

Want more poetry? Check out Women’s Voices For Change’s Poetry Friday.

Want more lists? Check out my other Wednesday 5’s.

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