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Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-1997

(Best American Poetry)

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3.55  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Every year since 1988 a major poet has selected seventy-five poems for publication in The Best American Poetry. But who is to undertake the formidable task of reading all 750 poems anthologized in The Best American Poetry and picking the 75 "best of the best"? The seventy-five poems Bloom has chosen go a long way toward defining a contemporary canon of American poetry. Inc ...more
Hardcover
Published April 2nd 1998 by Turtleback Books (first published 1990)
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3.55  · 
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W.B.
Mar 11, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hydrocephalics, those in a persistent vegetative state
I thought this was a fairly insulting move by Lehman. He didn't choose these though, did he? Wasn't it Bloom or someone wholly unimaginative like that? First, you invite distinguished poets to choose the best American poetry in each year, and then you turn around after a decade and say, "Well, here's the real stuff...let me show you the few time these losers actually chose REAL POETRY." And then you have the one editing it choose the most conservative work from those years and hold it up as exem ...more
Carol
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The selections are so slanted that they call into question the entire edition.
Bloom rejected one entire year (editor Adrienne Rich) as being dreadful poetry.
Also not selected: Billy Collins, Rita Dove, Seamus Heaney, Caroline Kizer, Sharon Olds, Mary Oliver, Robert Pinsky.
Eight authors had two poems chosen and five authors had three poems chosen. Bloom could have signaled his favourite authors in the introduction and given them only one poem in the anthology.
This book doesn't present an adequate
...more
Lance
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe as interesting for the cantankerous ramblings of Harold Bloom justifying, among other things, why he included NO poems from the first particular year when the original reviewers selected persons of color and other marginalized people because it did not correspond with his "Western Canon" thesis.
Frederick Gault
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
An excellent collection! Donald Hall's Prophecy is in it, it blew me away:

". . .let oxen and athletes
flash into grease: "

". . . and the earth split open like a corpse's gassy
stomach and the sun turn as black as a widow's skirt "

Sherry Chandler
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thepoets
I found this anthology soured by a rambling and vituperative introduction by the volume editor, Harold Bloom, who refused to include any poems at all from the 1996 edition, calling it a "monumental representation of the enemies of the aesthetic," and then setting off on a ranting defense of the canon.

The 1996 edition, edited by Adrienne Rich, was blatantly political and a lot of the poems, read as I read them, a couple of decades after the fact, seemed highly forgettable to me. Nor am I one of t
...more
Marci
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Poetry is difficult to rate. I was not familiar with any of these poems. Since it is 2013, I don't know which ones have withstood the test of time. The excerpts from previous issues of Best of the Best were insightful about how we view poetry.
Patti K
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This compilation is the 25th anniversary of the Best Series, newer than cited
on the above description. It is chock full of good poems. Philip Levine, Jane
Hirshfield, Carl Phillips, Rae Armantrout, Stanley Kunitz, Jane Kenyon, and many
more make this volume a delight. I recommend.
Kevin Fanning
Nov 29, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Liked a couple things in here but not enough.
SmarterLilac
Feb 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I would disagree with many of the editor's selections for this one, it did help me appreciate some of the poems I passed by in the other volumes.
Tom
I never saw this here book, to this day.
Amy
Jul 14, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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Bloom is a literary critic, and currently a Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University. Since the publication of his first book in 1959, Bloom has written more than 20 books of literary criticism, several books discussing religion, and one novel. He has edited hundreds of anthologies.

Other books in the series

Best American Poetry (1 - 10 of 29 books)
  • The Best American Poetry 1988 (Best American Poetry)
  • The Best American Poetry 1989
  • The Best American Poetry 1990
  • The Best American Poetry 1991
  • The Best American Poetry 1992 (Best American Poetry)
  • Best American Poetry 1993 (Best American Poetry)
  • The Best American Poetry 1994 (Best American Poetry)
  • The Best American Poetry 1995
  • The Best American Poetry 1996
  • The Best American Poetry 1997 (Best American Poetry)