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The Best American Poetry 2002

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Since its inception in 1988, The Best American Poetry series has achieved brand-name status in the literary world as the preeminent showcase of each year's most important contributions to American poetry. This year's exceptional volume, edited by Robert Creeley, a figure revered across teh wide spectrum of American poetry, features a diverse mix of established masters, ris Since its inception in 1988, The Best American Poetry series has achieved brand-name status in the literary world as the preeminent showcase of each year's most important contributions to American poetry. This year's exceptional volume, edited by Robert Creeley, a figure revered across teh wide spectrum of American poetry, features a diverse mix of established masters, rising stars and the leading lights of a younger generation. The pleasure of the poems selected here, Creeley explains in his introduction, is "that they caught my fancy, some almost outrageously, some by their quiet, nearly diffident manner, some by unexpected turns of thought or insight, others by a confident authority and intent." With comments from the poets elucidating their work, a thought-provoking introduction from Creeley, and Lehman's always popular foreword assessing the current state of poetry, The Best American Poetry 2002 will prove as irresistible to new readers as it is indispensable for poetry fans everywhere.


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Since its inception in 1988, The Best American Poetry series has achieved brand-name status in the literary world as the preeminent showcase of each year's most important contributions to American poetry. This year's exceptional volume, edited by Robert Creeley, a figure revered across teh wide spectrum of American poetry, features a diverse mix of established masters, ris Since its inception in 1988, The Best American Poetry series has achieved brand-name status in the literary world as the preeminent showcase of each year's most important contributions to American poetry. This year's exceptional volume, edited by Robert Creeley, a figure revered across teh wide spectrum of American poetry, features a diverse mix of established masters, rising stars and the leading lights of a younger generation. The pleasure of the poems selected here, Creeley explains in his introduction, is "that they caught my fancy, some almost outrageously, some by their quiet, nearly diffident manner, some by unexpected turns of thought or insight, others by a confident authority and intent." With comments from the poets elucidating their work, a thought-provoking introduction from Creeley, and Lehman's always popular foreword assessing the current state of poetry, The Best American Poetry 2002 will prove as irresistible to new readers as it is indispensable for poetry fans everywhere.

30 review for The Best American Poetry 2002

  1. 4 out of 5

    B.

    Overall, I would give this collection a C+ average (technically an 77.9% avg.) as far as the quality of the poems contained. I know that attempting to quantify poetic effect/value is a ridiculous gesture, but I am simply a ridiculous person. Of course, this is purely based off of my own tastes and will not necessarily reflect your average satisfaction rate. I started a mission in October of 2016 to read the entire Best American Poetry series so that I can begin to get a better sense of (A) what Overall, I would give this collection a C+ average (technically an 77.9% avg.) as far as the quality of the poems contained. I know that attempting to quantify poetic effect/value is a ridiculous gesture, but I am simply a ridiculous person. Of course, this is purely based off of my own tastes and will not necessarily reflect your average satisfaction rate. I started a mission in October of 2016 to read the entire Best American Poetry series so that I can begin to get a better sense of (A) what my taste in poetry is, and (B) my own poetic voice. This is the second "worst" edition of BAP that I have read so far. While not quite as mediocre as 2004, Creeley's selections for 2002 are still something of a disappointment. While I appreciate the values and techniques that Creeley cultivates and promotes as a poet, I cannot really stand more than a dose here and there as a reader. There is a Gustaf Sobin poem in this edition, one of my favorites that Creeley had to offer, titled "In Way of Introduction" that describes the tone of many of the inferior (at least for my sensibilities) poems in this volume: "poems are about. yours, though, yours, it would seem, are a- bout the process of their own depletion: about, one might assume, the sheer a- boutlessness of being" In the end, too many of these poems, much like BAP 2004, suffer from a bad case of aboutlessness. Unfortunately, the case is terminal. Below are the poems I recommend from this volume. Scour the internet for them and save your money by not buying this edition. However, the introduction by Lehman (reflecting on 9/11 and poetry) and even Creeley's introduction are definitely worth digging into. It felt strange reading about the cultural impact of a major historical event that I actually lived through. Masterpieces (5) Theodore Enslin, Moon Cornering Clayton Eshleman, Animals out of the Snow Jeffrey Franklin, To a Student Who Reads 'The Second Coming' as Sexual Autobiography Gustaf Sobin, In Way of Introduction John Taggart, Call Masterful (6) Elizabeth Biller Chapman, On the Screened Porch D. Nurkse, Snapshot from Niagara Sharon Olds, Frontis Nulla Fides Pam Rehm, 'A roof is no guarantee...' Nathan Whiting, In Charge John Yau, A Sheath of Pleasant Voices Masters Candidates (7) Elaine Equi, O Patriarchy Gene Frumkin, Surreal Love Life Maxine Kumin, Flying Timothy Liu, Felix Culpa Charles North, Sonnet Hugh Seidman, I Do Not Know Myself Dara Wier, Illumined with the Light of Fitfully Burning Censers Overall, I would absolutely to highly recommend approx. 24% of the poems contained in this volume.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    An excellent series. While you may not enjoy every poem in the book (or agree that they are, in fact, the "best" for that year), you will most likely find poems from magazines that you don't often read. An excellent series. While you may not enjoy every poem in the book (or agree that they are, in fact, the "best" for that year), you will most likely find poems from magazines that you don't often read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Quotes "'a' and 'the' -- an instance is never quite the same as the thing itself." (xvii) "Dreams themselves are footnotes. But not footnotes to life. Some other transaction they are so busy annotating all night long ." (23) "Somewhere, sometimes I'll / think before I squeak, & somewhere sometimes / why I simply leap, as toward you, I just leap." Bill Kushner (73) "What the lover seeks is the possibility of return, the strange heart beat- / in under every stone." Sarah Manguso (84) "meaning wears man Quotes "'a' and 'the' -- an instance is never quite the same as the thing itself." (xvii) "Dreams themselves are footnotes. But not footnotes to life. Some other transaction they are so busy annotating all night long ." (23) "Somewhere, sometimes I'll / think before I squeak, & somewhere sometimes / why I simply leap, as toward you, I just leap." Bill Kushner (73) "What the lover seeks is the possibility of return, the strange heart beat- / in under every stone." Sarah Manguso (84) "meaning wears many names yours for example" "by some carelessness perhaps one's own" "...indifference to the disappearance of time is everywhere" Duncan McNaughton (90, 97, 99) "I tell no one, how your hands ghost over my back..." "...unhappy in its own way. Like apartments / at dusk." Philip Metres (105, 106) "...when after a family dinner in which the main conversation was having desires versus shutting them off you wander into the street eyes wet..." "world news worsens these days / & you are not in my em- / brace" "waiting to see you i write .... try to sleep by words float up" Mong-Lan (109, 112, 117) "in her thinning glance" "fragments / of forgotten consequence" Jennifer Moxley (199, 120) "' I'm afraid I won't see it I think I might really be dying' 'I think you might be too' 'That's why you're the one I can talk to'" Alice Notley (126) "...and since words / can be lies, his silence had, for me, / a truthfulness..." "languagelessness" "I feel that ignorant love gave me / a life." Sharon Olds (129, 130) "In a way I live on words" George Oppen (134) "Anyway, you can see how a sentence / might tear the heart out of someone" Ira Sadoff (148)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    My favorites poems in this anthology were: - Corpus Delicti (Peter Cooley) - Great (Bill Kushner) - Address to Winnie in Paris (Sarah Manguso) - Ashberries: Letters (Philip Metres) - Illumined with the Light of Fitfully Burning Censers (Dara Wier)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Werner

    Poetry like this is why people think they don't like poetry. There are two very good poems in here, Sarah Manguso's prose-poem "Address to Winnie In Paris" and Jean Valentine's bittersweetly short "Do flies remember us." Some poems are fine, like a ripe banana or a slight breeze. Nothing to really give a fuck about, but pleasant. Other than that, it's an assortment of poetry for the sake of language, the sort of cleverness that makes the reader feel inferior instead of competent, and the "I can j Poetry like this is why people think they don't like poetry. There are two very good poems in here, Sarah Manguso's prose-poem "Address to Winnie In Paris" and Jean Valentine's bittersweetly short "Do flies remember us." Some poems are fine, like a ripe banana or a slight breeze. Nothing to really give a fuck about, but pleasant. Other than that, it's an assortment of poetry for the sake of language, the sort of cleverness that makes the reader feel inferior instead of competent, and the "I can justify doing nonsense because I'm so good" attitude of free jazz. This is what a handjob would look like if it had contributor notes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hyrum

    I love good poetry but I hate bad poetry. This book was worse than my high school lit mag had better poetry. The was one decent poem in about two hundred pages of poetry. The majority of these poems came across as a dictionary explosion that landed on a blank page. Poetry is supposed to make you feel something but before they can do that they have to be understandable.

  7. 4 out of 5

    J.

    This edition has Jenny Boully's "The Body" in it, which is possibly the best conceptualizer and executed poem I have ever read. Some other great highlights, too, like Anne Carson, and a fantastic experiment by Jackson Mac Low. Robert Creeley and I have very similar tastes in poetry, apparently. Recommended. This edition has Jenny Boully's "The Body" in it, which is possibly the best conceptualizer and executed poem I have ever read. Some other great highlights, too, like Anne Carson, and a fantastic experiment by Jackson Mac Low. Robert Creeley and I have very similar tastes in poetry, apparently. Recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    David

    It took years for some reason but I am finally finished. Now on to 2003 which I hope is a better selection which means I will read it faster.

  9. 5 out of 5

    SmarterLilac

    Most notable for the poem 'O Patriarchy,' which I love. Most notable for the poem 'O Patriarchy,' which I love.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hector

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ann

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

  13. 5 out of 5

    Scott Walker

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jason Mashak

  15. 5 out of 5

    Fred Bradford

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ron

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jaime T

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erik Tschekunow

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  21. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Klotz

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  23. 4 out of 5

    Josh Miles

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jazz

  25. 4 out of 5

    Allen

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rose

  27. 5 out of 5

    Noah

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mateo

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  30. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Trevino

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