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The Best American Poetry 2007 (Best American Poetry)

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  241 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Celebrated poet McHugh and renowned editor Lehman present the 20th edition of the popular and comprehensive Best American Poetry series.
Paperback, 169 pages
Published September 11th 2007 by Scribner Book Company (first published 1990)
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Susan Jean Cronin
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
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
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.
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
Mark Bruce
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.
Evelyn Lauer
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.

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
Gary McDowell
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.
Sara Kearns
'Disappointing. I thought maybe three or four poems out of the seventy-five were quite good.
A cross section of good, bad and ponderous.
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.
Peter House
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
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
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
Nov 03, 2007 Erin rated it 3 of 5 stars
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.
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)

(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
Sep 24, 2007 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
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.
Really, really like this installment. The editor got creative (and rebellious) with the selections, making this one of the more original editions in the series.
As Heather McHugh herself says in her introduction, "bestov, schmestov." Some good poems. The collection shows McHugh's taste for play with language.
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.
Elizabeth Wylder
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.
Jul 14, 2008 Alex rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
the matthea harvey, elaine equi, mary jo bang, donald hall and ed ochester poems rocked.
Some fantastic poems in this one. I like it perhaps better than any other in the series.
the f. seidel poem is #1. the west point haikus are also great. a lot of twee.
Nov 19, 2009 Derick added it
The BAP series is great. Get'll love it.
Favorite: Peep Show by Meghan O'Roarke
So far, I'm enjoying this assortment of poets!
This is just another reason not to go to work!
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