Sunday, April 01, 2007

Daily Poem Project 2007, week one

The Daily Poem Project (which I am running as part of my course "Songs and Poems Were All We Needed" this semester) involves reading the poem on Poetry Daily every day for a week. Then the students in the course vote, as I do, for the best poem of the week.

The course is on Friday, but the weeks will run from Monday to Sunday, starting last Monday, March 26, After we have done this for twelve weeks, we will have a final vote in the last week of the term on the best of the winners. Two summers ago, the winning poem in the end was "The Shout," by Simon Armitage. Last summer, the winning poem was "Fragment," by A. E. Stallings.

This term, I will be running a blog vote parallel to the class vote. If you want to participate, you can send your vote to me by email or as a comment on the blog. If you want to vote by commenting but do not want your vote to appear on the blog, you just have to say so in your comment (I moderate all comments). In any case, I will not post the comments until after the final vote is in (secret ballot). Please vote by the number of the poem in the list below! Please make a final decision and vote for only one poem!

Oh, and a deadline: please send your week-one vote by Thursday, April 5.

One other rule: if PD has more than one poem on a given day, we will consider only on the first poem.

Think of it as Poetry Idol. :-)

The poets and poems for the past week:

1. Monday, March 26 - Christian Wiman, "The River"
2. Tuesday, March 27 - Derek Walcott, "The Castaway"
3. Wednesday, March 28 - Linda Gregerson, "Spring Snow"
4. Thursday, March 29 - Susan Tichy, "Couplet"
5. Friday, March 30 - Robert Kelly, "Rembrandt's Raising of Lazarus, 1642"
6. Saturday, March 31 - Lee Slonimsky, "Burial of the Sun"
7. Sunday, April 1 - Hailey Leithauser, "Coo"

It's worth noting that the blog finalist list could end up being quite different than the finalist list in the class.


Katy Loebrich said...

I have to vote for "Couplet." Mainly because reading it really gave me the "wow" factor. It is so different from what one expects as poetry. It also reaches out & grabs you with that difference, really forces you to look at it. That's what I like, things that make you think differently.
- Katy

Bruce Loebrich said...

My vote is for 1. Monday, March 26 - Christian Wiman, "The River".

Donald Brown said...

Here's my vote, post it or not, doesn't matter to me:

1. Walcott (he simply writes so well, no one else comes close in this list). The poem is a bit labored (as if each "verse" has to try to outdo the one before, but, pretty much it does).

2. Leithauser: deft thought, nice subtle use of rhyme. Short, but not simple.

3. Gregerson: kinda prickly, Ammons-like, but I like him and I like it.

4. Slonimsky: a bit hamfisted in its rhythm, seems to me. That kind of serviceable formal poetry that is somewhat boring.

5. Kelly: a so-so poem, the ending ruins it for me.

6. Wiman: I don't like this "form"; I don't like this "voice"; some of the alligator description is good, but why not make it prose rather than "a poem." Dislike the end too.

7. Tichy: This could've been really good, marred irrevocably by that what the "poem would be" nonsense which is just toooo precious. And which serves what point? The point that the subject of "the poem" is too horrible and so can't be "made" into a poem? I hope it's not reasoning that facile, but I don't find evidence to the contrary. In other words, this poem would be potentially very good if only the poet would take herself the fuck out of it.

Anonymous said...

I'll go with #6 ...
Slominsky's "Burial of the Sun"
-- dhsh

Anonymous said...

After a while, I have to shamelessly plug my own blog a little: My comments on the first Daily Poem week are on-line @

Will continue that custom in a more or less frequent manner.

Anonymous said...

I love the Kelly one, which gets my vote.

- Cyril