Over at the Poetry Foundation, Hannah Gamble has some interesting choices. Her mini-review of Mary Ruefle ‘s Trances of the Blast (Wave Books) makes me want to drop everything and read the book:
New research indicates that what is often perceived as a lack of empathy in autistic children are actually just the actions of a child who doesn’t understand that all people in her life do not share the exact same knowledge and emotions that she possesses. For instance, if child number one (not autistic) has been told (by her mother, playing a prank) that her mother ate all of the Halloween candy, but the autistic child sees that the Halloween candy is sitting on a faraway counter, the autistic child will have no idea why child number one is crying, since the autistic child thinks that child number one has also seen that the Halloween candy is still sitting on the faraway counter. This is how I feel about Mary Ruefle’s poetry. It is almost impossible for me to grasp that not everyone knows it or loves it every bit as much as I do.
And I think one could not go far wrong with this list by Dan Chiasson in The New Yorker:
This was the year Seamus Heaney died, so the best book of poems to read in 2013 was “Seeing Things,” my favorite of Heaney’s many volumes, published in 1991. I recommend buying it and reading it through; no selection of his work does it justice. The best book of poems published this year? Easy—it was Frank Bidart’s “Metaphysical Dog,” Bidart’s strongest book ever, and also his most accessible: for readers who are new to Bidart’s work, this is the best place to start. After that, I pick Lucie Brock-Broido’s “Stay, Illusion”—gorgeous, eerie, brocaded; and a book I sorely wish I had written about, and may still: Ange Mlinko’s “Marvelous Things Overheard.”