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The Best American Poetry 2007 (Best American Poetry)

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3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  256 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Celebrated poet McHugh and renowned editor Lehman present the 20th edition of the popular and comprehensive Best American Poetry series.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 11th 2007 by Scribner
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Susan Jean Cronin
Jun 20, 2008 Susan Jean Cronin rated it it was ok
Yes, I know I'm a little bit behind in my reading...
Okay, so every year in Best American, without fail, one will find a good number of big names and at least a few poems from The New Yorker, Poetry, and other major publications. Some past guest eds leaned more in this direction than others, but there are usually--for me, anyway--enough surprises (with regard to both poets and journals) to make Best American a worthwhile read.
Reading this edition, I felt as though Heather McHugh did a lazy job o
...more
Kristin
Nov 27, 2007 Kristin rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
I hoped to like this more because Heather McHugh edited it...but I ultimately spent most of my time hoping for some more emotionally-charged poems, fewer topical poems, fewer information-filled poems.

There were many I liked a great deal, but very few that blew me away.

I also found myself wondering if / why there seemed to be quite a few more poets who had two poems in the anthology than I had ever seen before. Coincidental? I hope so.
Jason
Mar 01, 2009 Jason rated it it was ok
Eh, it was alright. Louis Bourgeois "A Voice from the City," Matthew Byrne's "Let me Count the Ways," Linh Dinh's "A Super-Clean Country," Stephen Dunn's "Where He Found Himself," Matthea Harvey's "The Future of Terror/Terror of the Future," and Cody Walker's "Coulrophobia" win the prize. The last of which i'll reprint here:

Neither clown was especially trustworthy--their pranks ranged from exploding pens to, in an ugly custody case, propped-up buckets of battery acid--but they were good company
...more
Tristan
Aug 06, 2015 Tristan rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
This was the most disappointing volume in the Best American Poetry series that I have read. While it did have some very good poems, most of the pieces were either dull or felt insufficiently poetic. Many of these poems were lacking in musicality and more than a few were lacking in sense--"Best Am Po" made absolutely no sense and in his note the poet claimed the piece was "ambitious". While strangeness and ambition are not mutually exclusive, the poem had neither sound nor coherent meaning going ...more
Mark Bruce
Feb 02, 2008 Mark Bruce rated it it was ok
Each year I open the "Best American Poetry" series with a mixture of joy and dread. Some years--2005--are treasures of poetry that expands your mind and heart. Some years--like this one--seem to be dedicated to those poets who approach their work as if they were solving the quadratic equation. There are a few fine things in here...about six. Not a good percentage for a 200+ page book.
carolyn
Feb 06, 2008 carolyn rated it it was ok
I always pick up this "best of" series from the library and usually find many poems that I love. This was the most disappointing year of the bunch though as there were only 2 or 3 poems that I enjoyed. meh
Evelyn Lauer
Sep 26, 2007 Evelyn Lauer rated it it was ok
So far I'm disappointed as always. I find myself cringing that some of the poems were a. published in the first place and b. chosen by Heather McHugh for this series.

Still disappointed. It was disappointing. I liked maybe 2 poems.

Sara Kearns
Feb 06, 2008 Sara Kearns rated it did not like it
Shelves: poetry_post-1990
'Disappointing. I thought maybe three or four poems out of the seventy-five were quite good.
Gary McDowell
Nov 27, 2007 Gary McDowell rated it liked it
This thing, as a whole and on a poem by poem basis, is always hit or miss. This year, it was more miss for me.
Jes
Nov 20, 2008 Jes rated it really liked it
A cross section of good, bad and ponderous.
Ben Pieper
Overall, I would give this collection a B average (technically an 85.8% 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.

Often times when I finish reading and assessing an entry of the Best American Poetry Series, I feel the weight of lofty themes, historical fig
...more
Craig
Jan 14, 2008 Craig rated it really liked it
I didn't expect to like this volume as much because my taste in poetry tends to skew more towards the narrative "confessional" schools rather than the "language" school that Heather Mchugh comes from. I was pleasantly surprised, though. There is a good broad range of voices here, many of which are younger than tend to appear in the BAP series.

My favorite poem overall was probably Robert Hass' "Bush's War."

All of that being said, however, I did think there were definite issues with this volume.
...more
Juliet
Sep 21, 2009 Juliet rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
Didn't finish; awful for a Best collection.

*

Twenty some pages into this collection and I am pretty much despising it so far. Very disappointing. Most of the poetry strikes me as uninteresting, sing-songy, behind the times, and terribly unprovocative.

If this is the best poetry of ANY recent year, then my poetic tastes are seriously out of whack and I'm gald they're out whack, because this poetry sucks.

Hopefully, the situation will improve. I bookmarked right before a Denise Duhamel poem, so maybe
...more
Terry
May 15, 2008 Terry rated it liked it
As with others in this series, a mixed bag. Some gems, some duds. Unlike some other reviewers, I don't get to read much in the way of contemporary poetry, so this series is my primary source for what is going on now. For people who don't read those slender volumes by a single poet, this is a good, consistent source.

Of particular interest: Brian Turner's "What Every Soldier Should Know," as good a war poem about the present conflict as one could ask for, and Marilyn Nelson's "Etymology," a fine s
...more
Peter House
Jan 08, 2013 Peter House rated it liked it
This collection features not one but two (TWO!) beheadings. Overall, the book was decent with a few poems that resonated. I think it comes down to a matter of taste as I really enjoyed the 2006 edition. Some of the poems I enjoyed in this book are, "The Death of the Shah" by Frederick Seidel, "Archaic Fragment" by Louise Gluck (forgive the lack of umlaut), and "Continuous Bullets over Flattened Earth" by Linh Dinh.

A number of poems that were printed in the Alaska Quarterly Review made it into t
...more
beauregard
Mar 05, 2008 beauregard rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
So I've only read a couple - it's an anthology, neat-seeming editor (<3 hot wordplay), here's one I like (also, read Scumble)

Vowels
(Christian Bök)

loveless vessels
we row
solo love

we see
love solve loss
else we see
love sow woe

selves we woo
we lose
losses we levee
we owe

we sell
loose vows
so we love
less well

so low
so level
wolves evolve
Erin
Nov 03, 2007 Erin rated it liked it
Shelves: poesy
I'm not usually a fan of this series. I tend to prefer those slender individual books of poems to anthologies. But this year's Best American was quite a treat. It features a nice mix of poets, plenty I was familiar with, plenty I'd never heard of. And I enjoyed nearly every poem in here, even those by poets whose work I don't tend to like. Well worth the read.
Hilary
Jul 30, 2008 Hilary rated it really liked it
This series never disappoints. Check out the amazing poem "Vowels" by Christian Bok, using only the six letters in the title. Some great new names in this book as well as the big rock stars of poetry.
Amy
Sep 19, 2007 Amy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This year's edition guest edited by Heather McHugh...with local notables like Jeannette Allee, Kary Wayson, Susan Parr, and Richard Kenney inside! Throw in a little Sabrina Orah Mark and Ben Lerner and you've got yourself an amazing & exciting anthology.
Elizabeth Wylder
Jan 27, 2008 Elizabeth Wylder rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
I tagged about a dozen poems that I liked... out of the 170 or so pages of poetry in 2007's offering. Somehow, that doesn't seem like enough.
Derick
Nov 19, 2009 Derick added it
The BAP series is great. Get them...you'll love it.
Geoffrey
Oct 27, 2008 Geoffrey rated it did not like it
Aside from some haikus by a West Point student, a group of vapid poems. If this is a selection of the best, I shudder to think of the worst.
Stephanie
Aug 09, 2008 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Just trying to learn about poetry...
Arkay
Nov 04, 2012 Arkay rated it liked it
a few gems, but on the whole underwhelming
jim
Jan 24, 2008 jim rated it really liked it
Some fantastic poems in this one. I like it perhaps better than any other in the series.
Alex
Jul 14, 2008 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
It is a "Best Of..." book and most of the poems are excellent, but not all of them. So you only get 4 stars.
Brian Foley
Oct 13, 2007 Brian Foley rated it liked it
Shelves: readthisyear
Not bad this year. It has Matthea Harvey.
Diane
May 09, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing
Favorite: Peep Show by Meghan O'Roarke
Colin
Aug 05, 2008 Colin rated it it was ok
Give me a break.
Rob
Jan 09, 2008 Rob rated it liked it
the f. seidel poem is #1. the west point haikus are also great. a lot of twee.
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