Monday, December 20, 2010

Great Poems: 2010

As the year winds to a close, it is time to compile a list of the best poems I've read in the past twelve months. Nearly all of these come from Poem of the Day emails I received from, which I highly recommend signing up for. (It says the daily poems are limited to April, but they are actually year-round as of this past May).

It was difficult for me to narrow them down, but I've decided on a top 20 list.  These are my recommended reading, though I realize of course that, perhaps even more than other art forms, poetry is a matter of taste. If you have some favorite poems from the year, please include your recommendations in the comments section.

The poems are separated into three categories, though some don't fit conveniently into only one. The categories are essentially the choices I've given for reactions at the bottom of each post: fun, imagery, and meaningful. Within each category, poems are ordered by author, and I have starred my very favorites.

Poems I liked for their humor or cleverness
Meeting with My Father in the Orchard by Homero Aridjis
9 by E. E. Cummings
The Passionate Freudian to His Love by Dorothy Parker
*Quick Black Hole Spin-Change by Edward Sanders
The Pumpkin by John Greenleaf Whittier

Poems I liked for their language or form
Sawdust by Sharon Bryan
*Spell for Encanto Creek by Mark Jarman
Refusing at Fifty-Two to Write Sonnets by Thomas Lynch
Mnemosyne by Trumbull Stickney
*Magdalene Poem by John Taggart

Poems I liked for their insight or introspection
Birthplace by Michael Cirelli
The Sweetwater Caverns by Kimiko Hahn
*Arabic Coffee by Naomi Shihab Nye
Motherhood, 1951 by Ai Ogawa
*Early Memory by January Gill O'Neil
Fusiturricula Lulluby by Gjertrud Schnackenberg
*Testy Pony by Zachary Schomburg
*Adjectives of Order by Alexandra Teague

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