Friday, June 22, 2007



Here are the poems to vote for in the final round of my Daily Poem Project (the winning poems for each week from Monday, March 26, to Sunday, June 17):

1. Christian Wiman, "The River"
2. Tom Sleigh, "Blueprint"
3. Jessica Fisher, "The Promise of Nostos"
4. Allen Grossman, "A Gust of Wind"
5. Laure-Anne Bosselaar, "Friends"
6. Robin Ekiss, "Vanitas Mundi"
7. Maurice Manning, "Where Sadness Comes From"
8. Reginald Shepherd, "Eve's Awakening"
9. C. Dale Young, "33rd & Kirkham"
10. Hadara Bar-Nadav, "Inside the Maze (II, III, and IV)"
11. Adrian Blevins, "Hey You"
12. Maurice Manning, "Bucolics III"

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). You may vote by the title, the author's name, or the number of the poem in the list above. Please make a final decision and vote for only one poem (although it is always interesting to see people's lists).


If you want to receive an email announcing the results, send me your email address with your vote (if you have a public blogger profile, I can usually find it).


Donald Brown said...

This is easy. Since few of my picks won the blog vote, there's not much competition in my view (some of these choices... well, no matter). My vote goes to Manning for "Where Sadness Comes From." Runner-up is Grossman, "A Gust of Wind."

Thanks for making me read poems and causing me to exercise my critical faculties in a somewhat public way. As to the poetry in general, it's already been said: "I too dislike it."

Bruce Loebrich said...

This was a lot easier for me than I thought it would be. Here's my ranked list (my favorite is at the top):

23. David Harsent, "Spatchcock"
17. Jessica Fisher, "The Promise of Nostos"
67. Hadara Bar-Nadav, "Inside the Maze (II, III, and IV)"
45. Richard Chess, "Seventy Faces"
13. Paul Zimmer, "Suck It Up"
1. Christian Wiman, "The River"
35. Karin Gottshall, "The Current"
28. Allen Grossman, "A Gust of Wind"
76. Eric Leigh, "The Dark-Light of Spring"
82. Pamela Alexander, "Lightfall"
2. Derek Walcott, "The Castaway"
77. Tracy K. Smith, "After Persephone"
60. Regan Good, "A Stone Should Mark the Place"
46. Maurice Manning, "Where Sadness Comes From"
24. Janice N. Harrington, "Shaking the Grass"
62. C. Dale Young, "33rd & Kirkham"
14. Tom Sleigh, "Blueprint"
22. Mike Dockins, "Poem of Low Latitudes"
20. Josephine Dickinson, "The Bargain"
32. Laure-Anne Bosselaar, "Friends"
81. Maurice Manning, "Bucolics III"
55. Reginald Shepherd, "Eve's Awakening"
38. Robin Ekiss, "Vanitas Mundi"
73. Adrian Blevins, "Hey You"
12. Elizabeth Bradfield, "Industry"
69. Liane Strauss, "Ditchdigger"
11. C. D. Wright, "Dear night dear shade dear executioner"
61. John Hennessy, "Dialing While Intoxicated"
37. Kevin McFadden, "The Ides of Amer-I-Can"

I'm afraid it includes my personal favorites and the class winners for each week in addition to the blog winners in your list. I guess the top poem from my list on the list you presented would be the poem for which I'm voting.

Jonathan said...

I vote for Jessica Fisher, "A Promise of Nostos."

Pamela Johnson Parker said...

There are many other worthy opponents, but for my vote, it's Reginald Shepherd, with a bullet. That poem is gorgeous.

Unknown said...

eleven followed very closely by nine.


Reginald Shepherd said...

I vote for Reginald Shepherd's "Eve's Awakening."

Brian Campbell said...

Hi Andrew,

All of these poems had interesting things to say & ways to say 'em, but none gets my total vote. All, or practically all, lapse into (or emerge out of) discursiveness. That is, they don't express or
evoke so much as talk about... or maybe, to put it more precisely, the evocation these poets manage to do is hampered by the *talking about* they fall too easily into. Discursiveness is the bane especially of academics, people who do too much essay-writing and -reading, as most of these writers are. Be that as it may... The poems that got onto my "short list" were:

Christian Wiman -- The River. Some great writing here, but I felt let down with the word "crocodiles." He was evoking the animals so well up to that point, he practically (& I'd say, poetically) didn't need to actually name them. I think the poem would have been better if he had continued evoking their qualities through vivid description, but telling us what they are somehow turns this into a high-falutin' version of National Geographic. OK, maybe better than that. And what's that father doin' there? OK, I'll accept that.

Tom Sleigh, Blueprint -- This one, I thought, was going to be (as Li Young Lee puts it in a quote a couple of posts back in my blog) all out of the mental centre to the exclusion of all else, and who needs that in this overly mentalized society? -- but as a critique of that "abstracting" process, an evocation of the reality he would like to express, this does become quite forceful & ineffable at the end. (Which means I can't say any effin' thing beyond that, without turning this into an effin' essay).

Laure Ann Bosselaar , Friends -- She doesn't like her heart much, does she? But somehow I feel her description more than a tad put on, adjective-heavy. Her friends she likes better-- so that makes her quite likable despite herself, doesn't it? I was struck by "the sun heaves daylight" -- that line leaps out as more profound & elemental than the rest of the poem put together. I like nevertheless "I thrum the lit syllables of your names on my sill... etc. An interesting way to evoke friendship. A funky ugly/striking artifact of a self-loathing (?) people-person.

Reginald Sheppard, "Eve's Awakening" -- I like a number of things about this poem. Stanzas five-seven are particularly beautiful . But would Adam know what a flag is? (I don't think Adam knows what a fig is at this point.) Somehow I think RS named God too early. Could it have been better

He called me by a name I'd never heard,/ tried to enclose my hand in his: that garden/suddenly seemed small, enclosed on every side, something that said God,/
said call me that.

Something like that. Oh, and where the heck is Eve? She's hardly there. No, powerful as it is as a title, I don't think I'd call this poem that.

Hadara Bar Nadav, Inside the Maze:

A hell of an interesting poem, the only one I've read from the point of view of the Minotaur. Culturally it is de grande portée. The unique lay-out of words, once one figures out how to read it, makes one feel one is entering the brain of another species, a slow-thinking one at that. (At first I thought the words could be read up and down as well as right to left -- would have been a miracle if the poet had managed that.) This poem quite grabbed me and took me along on its journey, but when the Minotaur refers to his "fragrant catalog", suddenly he becomes an Assistant English Professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Again, "talking about" -- too bad, but this highly avoidable mis-step unfortunately second-rates the poem.

Adrian Blevins -- Hey You. This is one poem that, though highly mental, does not *talk about*, but *is* in its own highly eccentric terms -- and leaves you to figure out what those terms are. Kind of reminds me of EE Cummings in the use of an adjective as noun. I enjoyed "I threw my beautiful down at the waterway against the screwball rocks." & I love the final line. I almost gave this one my vote, but for semi-penetrable obscurities in lines 6-10 that don't satisfy me. So does the poem really say "Hey You" to me? Well... not very loud.



Hadara Bar-Nadav, Inside the Maze!!!

Thanks, Andrew, for engaging me in this highly enjoyable exercise.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to vote for #7, Manning's "Where Sadness Comes From." Gorgeous poem. And this is a very neat project you've got going!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me to vote, Andrew. This was a hard one. I knew as soon as i saw your list that I would be inclined toward Bucolic, which i read on the Poetry Daily site and loved. It's an amazing conceit and well done, with great ease of language and inventiveness. Perhaps if you had included all three of the Bucolic pieces, I would have voted for them. But finally I felt as if I would be voting for one extended (albeit very well done) metaphor with Bucolic III.

Insteaad, I am going to vote for The River, which seemed a little more multi-dimensional to me. I love the process of seeing as it unfolds in the poem, (reminds me of Bishop) the gradual opening up of details, including the father in the boat. I like the lack of sentimentality and moralizing, (too many attempts to find greater meaning in too many of these poems, IMO--blahblah blah. Too many hearts and nights and sleep). the tightness and the strength of the description. Technically it seems very accomplished to me. Compelling and vivid.

So that's my two cents. I am curious what others will pick!


David Dodd Lee said...

To me three stand out from the others:
3. Jessica Fisher, "The Promise of Nostos"
7. Maurice Manning, "Where Sadness Comes From"
11. Adrian Blevins, "Hey You"

But really I'm torn between 3 and 7.

I guess I'll go with Fischer, #3.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks for the opportunity to vote, Andrew. This is a great project.

There are good choices here. I especially like the poems by Jessica Fisher, C. Dale Young, and Allen Grossman.

That being said, I'm voting for the poem by Adrian Blevins. "Hey You" is a marvelous piece, a powerful study in character, that makes me wish I had written it.

SarahJane said...

Hello Andrew-
I vote for "Hey, You" again, if a bit reluctantly, as "Inside the Maze" was surprisingly good. At first glance, I thought I'd merely struggle through, but it is really a delightful and engaging poem. (But by line 2 of "Hey, You" I was bowled over.)
I also enjoyed the two Manning poems, so thanks for that since I haven't read him before.
"A Gust of Wind" was also a pleasure, and if you told me I'd like a poem about a baby hippo being eaten by crocodiles, i wouldn't have believed you, but I did like that.

Anonymous said...

My head-and-shoulders-above-the-rest choice is #5, Laure-Anne Bosselaar's "Friends" ...

My second choice is #12, Maurice Manning's "Bucolics III" ...

If I were basing my vote on all three of Manning's "Bucolics" as shown in the
Poetry Daily entry, that would have
made my choice a LOT tougher.

FYI, I intend to recommend BOTH of these
poets to my local library, for purchase of
their respective recent volumes.

Just for the record, I'd also like to bestow
"honorable mentions" on these others:

#7, Manning's "Where Sadness Comes From"

#9, Young's "33rd & Kirkham"

#2, Tom Sleigh's "Blueprint" (in tandem
with its companion piece in the PD entry).

-- dhsh

Unknown said...

My final vote goes to Allen Grossman's "A Gust of Wind".