Jonathan Mayhew and I exchanged an email or two about how we pick the poems for the Daily Poem Project. Here's my last note in the exchange:
My procedure is ... read the poems, read the poems, read the poems. :-)
More seriously, my procedure is to read each poem hoping to be blown away. If anything gets in the way of that, then I put the poem aside. Last year, this procedure usually led me to pick a poem quickly, or choose between two very quickly. This year, I'm trying to give them more time; in fact, I'm trying to see how the things that irritate me might actually be the things that are worth looking at more closely (à la the "I can see" motif in Christian Wiman's "The River" in week one).
So I'm shifting my focus a bit to how irritation can be a good thing, a reaction that tells you what to look at just as much as a "wow" does.