Paula's Reviews > Poet's Choice

Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch
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Feb 08, 10

Read in January, 2010, read count: 1

Hirsch is honest about the choices he makes for why he included particular poets and poems in this book. He freely admits that his decisions were based on his own subjective preferences, and that doesn't bother me because I've never heard of the vast majority of the ones I read about--so I have plenty of reading material for the future.

Hirsch splits this book into two sections, one for non-American writers and the other for American writers. He clearly loves Pablo Neruda, who by far has the most pages dedicated to a single poet in the entire book, and he also loves to compare poets to Whitman. The majority of his choices are based on poets whose work is concerned with issues relating to being an outsider or issues related to life and death. He also chose poets who are now dead along with poets he's known for a substatial amount of time. Still, Hirsch's choices are relevant and appropriate. (Although if Luise Gluck hadn't been included, I'd be writing him a letter.)

Overall, this book is a good place to find poets and poetry from those whose work often is overlooked or has been forgotten. The biographies and sample poems also are useful for those who want to pin down a particular poet or genre quickly and easily.
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