The New York Times Book Review asked a group of poets and critics one of those toughest of questions: "What book of poetry, published in the last 25 years, has meant the
most to you personally — the book you have found yourself returning to
again and again?"
Jim Harrison explained why he explores and goes back to explore certain poetry.
Now that I am older and am sliding into home base, I’ve become aware
that I’ve read some poetry nearly every day for the past 50 years for
basically nutritional reasons. It is a survival tactic, this soul food,
a need to assuage the sense of incomprehension that I have lived with
daily since I was a desperate and vulnerable boy. Just last week on a
French book tour when I felt like a stray dog struck by a car and
biting at its wounds in a ditch I stopped into a bookstore to fortify
myself with a few pages of Rimbaud and Rene Char.
The persons and their picks?
- John Ashbery:
Reckoner (James Tate)
The Incognito Lounge and Other Poems (Denis Johnson)
Danger on Peaks (Gary Snyder)
Delights and Shadows (Ted Kooser)
Four Good Things (James McMichael)
Report from the Besieged City (Zbigniew Herbert)
The Man with Night Sweats (Thom Gunn)
Next (Lucille Clifton)
As We Know (John Ashberry)
Next-to-Last Things (Stanley Kunitz)
Magic City (Yusef Komunyakaa)
Trapeze (Deborah Digges)