Friday, December 26, 2008

My Year In Review- The Poetry

It's that time of year again when it's okay reflect on the past. So, for this Poetry Friday, I'm simply going to look back at the poetry books I've read over the past year and rank them in order of preference. #1 was my favourite, #21 was my least favourite:

1. Randall Maggs- Night Work: The Shawchuk Poems

2. Zachariah Wells (editor)- Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets

3. Jeannette C. Armstrong and Lally Grauer (editors)- Native Poetry In Canada: A Contemporary Anthology

4. Paul B. Janeczko (editor) and Chris Raschka (illustrator)- A Kick In The Head

5. Zachariah Wells- Unsettled

6. Andy Quan and Jim Wong Chu (editors)- Swallowing Clouds: An Anthology of Chinese-Canadian Poetry

7. Jason Schinder (editor)- The Poem I Turn To

8. H. W. Longfellow- Evangeline

9. Herménégilde Chiasson, translated by Jo-Anne Elder- Beatitudes

10. Sylvia Plath- Ariel

11. Karen Solie (editor)- The 2007 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology

12. Hermann Hesse, translated by James Wright- Poems

13. Alison Calder- Wolf Tree

14. Douglas LePan- Far Voyages

15. Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes- Polar Bear, Arctic Hare: Poems of the Frozen North

16. Douglas Lochhead- Weathers

17. Oscar Williams (editor)- Immortal Poems of the English Language

18. Frederico Garcia Lorca, translated by Martin Sorrell- Selected Poems

19. George McWhirter- The Anachronicles

20. Connie Fife- Beneath The Naked Sun

21. Kari Anne Roy- Haiku Mama

Did you read any memorable poetry books this year?


Wanda said...

Of the half a dozen or so that I've read this year, three come to mind as most memorable:

1. That Singing You Hear at the Edges ~ Sue MacLeod
2. Worthy of His Fall ~ Richard Harrison
3.(a re-read) Rat Jelly ~ Michael Ondaatje

Knowing how much my little one likes poetry, her grade one teacher sent “That Yellow Dog” home with her last June. We both loved this book!

My least favourite: From the Igloo Confessional ~ Stephan Lowry
Though this one contained a few images and lines that I liked, as a whole it just didn't do it for me.

Beth F said...

wow! I don't read much poetry -- not sure why. But your list is very inspiring. I should think about adding poetry to my reading list.

Happy holidays.

Anonymous said...

I'm ashamed to admit that the only one I've read from this list is Spinelli's (with my younger kids), though I've dipped into Plath (years ago) and Hesse (ditto). I'm glad you included Longfellow in your top ten--I was just reading about his "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" and feeling sorry for him that the critics turned so harsh after his death.
One of my New Year's resolutions is to read more poetry!

Anonymous said...

Oh! My youngest and I did devour Douglas Florian's Autumnblings in one sitting. Charming!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh dear, you have read at least 21 more poetry books than I have this year. I really must do something about that.

Anonymous said...

I have read a few that were memorable this year. For me, Ted Kooser's Valentines was pretty memorable (some of his similes and images still pop to mind unbidden now & again). I also have been reading I Explain a Few Things by Pablo Neruda, which I'm really enjoying. And this was the year I first started reading Rilke, whose work I'm liking, but I've yet to find an edition I'm ready to endorse.

John Mutford said...

Wanda: I'm not a huge fan of Ondaatje, and I've tried his prose and poetry. You must have liked Rat Jelly though, to try it a 2nd time.

Beth: I usually have a book of poetry on the go, to pick up when I need a break from whatever book I'm currently reading.

Jennifer: Why were the critics so harsh? I should look up Autumnblings-- the title sounds cool.

Barbara: Do you have any favourite poets? You could start there.

Kelly: Thanks for the recommendation. Since you're enjoying Neruda, I'll trust your suggestion!

Anonymous said...

Why were the critics so harsh on Longfellow? Jealousy? Sour grapes? That critical suspicion of anything popular?
Apparently some believed he was too imitative of European styles and forms, especially of Tennyson.
I think it just goes to show the vicissitudes of both popular and critical tastes, and how great literature lives on regardless.
(Speaking of Tennyson, one of my favorite poetry books is his Idylls of the King. I highly recommend it. I know, it's King Arthur again...)