Dark Horses: Poets on Overlooked Poems

Joy Katz, Editor, Kevin Prufer, Editor . Univ. of Illinois $50 (216p) ISBN 978-0-252-03053-6 ISBN 978-0-252-07287-1

Poets Katz (The Garden Room ) and Prufer (Fallen from a Chariot ; The New Young American Poets ), both editors of the journal Pleiades, asked over five dozen poets (ranging from some of America's most well-known, like Billy Collins and John Ashbery, to rising talents, like D.A. Powell and Susan Wheeler) to each pick one obscure or underappreciated poem and to write an accompanying explanation of their choice. The resulting anthology gathers a host of surprising poems—works by Emily Dickinson, Sara Teasdale, Man Ray and Laura (Riding) Jackson all find their way here—along with passionate prose. Carol Muske-Dukes picked the tragically lush Thomas James ("...here is my new mouth,/ Chiseled with care") and Mary Jo Bang introduces a youthful Sylvia Plath ("I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead"). In one of the anthology's most moving moments, Stanley Plumly movingly revisits Elizabeth Bishop's "Poem," which he calls "more 'personal' and less 'finished' than what this inveterate writer is commonly committed to." While the curatorial process—which involves so many other people—ensures that few readers will like every poem, it also guarantees that most will find new favorites. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/18/2006
Release date: 06/01/2006
Paperback - 216 pages - 978-0-252-07287-1
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!