What Poetry to Read

Whose advice do you take?

Tony Hoagland¹:

To me it seems that my students read too exclusively within their own generation, and that this may be ultimately stunting to their growth and vision of poetry, but it’s hard to say.

Theordore Roethke²:

I recommend that you go, on your own, and immediately, to poets closer to your own age. Some may reflect your own confusions — let them be nameless — read them passionately and critically.

At this point in my life, it’s most important that I read any poetry I can get my hands on. I’ve recently set to memory a Dickey poem, whose rhythm and force is medicine for my troubled mind. I also find reading Prufock aloud therapeutic. James Dickey nor T.S. Eliot are not of my generation, and I’m generally out of touch with poets of my age. One contemporary poet I’ve enjoyed is Michael McGriff. I read Catfish and the Sequence of the Night in American Poetry Review. I will take recommendation for other poets my age that I should read. 

(1) McCoullough, Laura. “Greetings from a Hopelessly Foolish Soul: Tony Hoagland on Poetry and Being.” new south. 3.3 (2010): 199. Print.
(2) Roethke, Theordore. On Poetry and Craft. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon Press, 2001. 200. Print.