Here are the results of the first week of voting in my Daily Poem Project.
My students voted for Derek Walcott's "The Castaway," which received four votes. In second place was Lee Slonimsky's "The Burial of the Sun," which received three. Thirteen votes were cast in all.
Blog voters went for Christian Wiman's "The River," which received four votes. Four poems received two votes each (numbers 2, 4, 5, and 6). Thirteen votes again.
Overall, the Walcott would win with six votes out of twenty-six, with Wiman and Slonimsky each receiving five. (But that's not how I am doing the vote, especially as my vote counts both in the class and on the blog.)
I voted for the Wiman in the end, with Walcott's poem and Susan Tichy's "Couplet" being the other poems on my shortlist. Tichy's poem seemed too vague when I looked at closely: if I was enthralled but puzzled on a first reading, I was only puzzled after a third. Walcott is always rich and dense, but the poem seemed too dense for its own good; the richness prevented me from being able to think it through completely, and it prevented me from being able to feel the poem strongly enough. Wiman's poem had one irritating feature ("I can see"), but while I pondered it while biking home from a meeting, that irritating feature began to make sense, and the poem's one unclear element (is the father present in the scene or is he a memory?) added to the power of the work rather than subtracting from it. (While biking, I was unable to think about Walcott's poem because it was not wholly present in my mind: the over-richness of the language again.)
This from someone who does not usually like prose poems.
(For those who posted your votes through comments, the comments are now up, and you can read what other people said about the poems.)