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A mid an "explosion in the interest of poetry nationwide" (The New York Times), The Best American Poetry 2000 delivers one of the finest volumes yet in this renowned series. Guest editor Rita Dove, a distinguished figure in the poetry world and the second African-American poet ever to win the Pulitzer Prize, brings all of her dynamism and well-honed acumen to bear on this A mid an "explosion in the interest of poetry nationwide" (The New York Times), The Best American Poetry 2000 delivers one of the finest volumes yet in this renowned series. Guest editor Rita Dove, a distinguished figure in the poetry world and the second African-American poet ever to win the Pulitzer Prize, brings all of her dynamism and well-honed acumen to bear on this project. Dove used a simple yet exacting method to make her selections: "The final criterion," she writes in her introduction, "was Emily Dickinson's famed description -- if I felt that the top of my head had been taken off, the poem was in." The result is a marvelous collection of consistently high-quality poems diverse in form, tone, style, stance, and subject matter. With comments from the poets themselves illuminating their poems and a foreword by series editor David Lehman, The Best American Poetry 2000 is this year's must-have book for all poetry lovers.


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A mid an "explosion in the interest of poetry nationwide" (The New York Times), The Best American Poetry 2000 delivers one of the finest volumes yet in this renowned series. Guest editor Rita Dove, a distinguished figure in the poetry world and the second African-American poet ever to win the Pulitzer Prize, brings all of her dynamism and well-honed acumen to bear on this A mid an "explosion in the interest of poetry nationwide" (The New York Times), The Best American Poetry 2000 delivers one of the finest volumes yet in this renowned series. Guest editor Rita Dove, a distinguished figure in the poetry world and the second African-American poet ever to win the Pulitzer Prize, brings all of her dynamism and well-honed acumen to bear on this project. Dove used a simple yet exacting method to make her selections: "The final criterion," she writes in her introduction, "was Emily Dickinson's famed description -- if I felt that the top of my head had been taken off, the poem was in." The result is a marvelous collection of consistently high-quality poems diverse in form, tone, style, stance, and subject matter. With comments from the poets themselves illuminating their poems and a foreword by series editor David Lehman, The Best American Poetry 2000 is this year's must-have book for all poetry lovers.

30 review for The Best American Poetry 2000

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy

    This is such an excellent series. Here's just one example: Samurai Song by Robert Pinsky When I had no roof I made Audacity my roof. When I had No supper my eyes dined. When I had no eyes I listened. When I had no ears I thought. When I had no thought I waited. When I had no father I made Care my father. When I had No mother I embraced order. When I had no friend I made Quiet my friend. When I had no Enemy I opposed my body. When I had no temple I made My voice my temple. I have No priest, my tongue is my This is such an excellent series. Here's just one example: Samurai Song by Robert Pinsky When I had no roof I made Audacity my roof. When I had No supper my eyes dined. When I had no eyes I listened. When I had no ears I thought. When I had no thought I waited. When I had no father I made Care my father. When I had No mother I embraced order. When I had no friend I made Quiet my friend. When I had no Enemy I opposed my body. When I had no temple I made My voice my temple. I have No priest, my tongue is my choir. When I have no means fortune Is my means. When I have Nothing, death will be my fortune. Need is my tactic, detachment Is my strategy. When I had No lover I courted my sleep.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Florence

    Very few of these poems were memorable. An exception was "Man Listening to Disk" by Billy Collins. I quote: The music is loud yet so confidential/ I cannot help feeling even more/ like the center of the universe/ than usual as I walk along to a rapid/ little version of "The Way You Look Tonight". I often listen to music on headphones while walking my dog and that is exactly how I feel. Here's another. This one is by Mark Halliday. It's entitled "Before" and it's about young love. "prior to your Very few of these poems were memorable. An exception was "Man Listening to Disk" by Billy Collins. I quote: The music is loud yet so confidential/ I cannot help feeling even more/ like the center of the universe/ than usual as I walk along to a rapid/ little version of "The Way You Look Tonight". I often listen to music on headphones while walking my dog and that is exactly how I feel. Here's another. This one is by Mark Halliday. It's entitled "Before" and it's about young love. "prior to your denim cutoffs on the porch prior to my notes and your notes and before your name became a pulsing star, before all this ah safer and smoother and smaller was my heart" I sometimes have trouble finding poetry that has meaning for me. Does anyone else have this problem?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Leah Angstman

    This felt to me to be a rather lackluster collection of poems. Granted, the poetry scene has changed tremendously since 2000, and even more just in the last year or so, but I had this on my shelf and thought I'd give it a read, a few pieces per day. There was no poem that jumped out at me as amazing or necessary to collect, although it had some decent pieces. I think, perhaps, other years might have better poems in this series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Book2Dragon

    Some good poems in here, but mostly academic and inaccessible. It's saving grace is a poem by Mary Oliver, which is accessible and inspiring, as always are her poems. So I would only recommend this to academics or those who like that kind of poetry.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Decent collection with some real highlights. Overall an OK year for the Best.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jason Vaughn

    Many powerful poems in this edition. My particular favorites: Billy Collins: Man Listening to Disc Jim Daniels: Between Periods Charles Fort: We Did Not Fear the Father Frank Glaser: And in the Afternoons I Botanized Barbara Hamby: Ode to the Lost Luggage Warehouse at the Rome Airport Paul Perry: Paris Gabriel Spera: In a Field Outside the Town A. E. Stallings: Asphodel Susan Stewart: Wings Dorothea Tanning: No Palms Natasha Trethewey: Limen Quincy Troupe: Song Derek Walcott: Pissarro at Dusk Richard Wilbur: Many powerful poems in this edition. My particular favorites: Billy Collins: Man Listening to Disc Jim Daniels: Between Periods Charles Fort: We Did Not Fear the Father Frank Glaser: And in the Afternoons I Botanized Barbara Hamby: Ode to the Lost Luggage Warehouse at the Rome Airport Paul Perry: Paris Gabriel Spera: In a Field Outside the Town A. E. Stallings: Asphodel Susan Stewart: Wings Dorothea Tanning: No Palms Natasha Trethewey: Limen Quincy Troupe: Song Derek Walcott: Pissarro at Dusk Richard Wilbur: Fabrications Susan Wood: Analysis of the Rose as Sentimental Despair John Yau: Borrowed Love Poems Dean Young: The Infirmament

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    It's so easy to make spoilers of poetry books. So let me just list my favorite poems in this edition. "Mary Todd On Her Deathbed"--loved it. "Crow is Walking" Great one. "Signs", but then Lucille Clifton is the queen of poetry in these past decades. Then oh my Billy Collins hit it right with "Man Listening To Disc" this could just as well been a woman listening to their favorite sounds. "Walt I Salute You", wonderful tribute, Then Ghosts was fabulous! There were others in this, but I really It's so easy to make spoilers of poetry books. So let me just list my favorite poems in this edition. "Mary Todd On Her Deathbed"--loved it. "Crow is Walking" Great one. "Signs", but then Lucille Clifton is the queen of poetry in these past decades. Then oh my Billy Collins hit it right with "Man Listening To Disc" this could just as well been a woman listening to their favorite sounds. "Walt I Salute You", wonderful tribute, Then Ghosts was fabulous! There were others in this, but I really loved these.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    Excellent collection! At first, I was expecting a very pretentious collection, but this was not the case. Some of the poems ("The Most Beautiful Word" and "Incest Taboo" come to mind) were kind of pretentious, but they weren't terrible and had some good aspects. I really enjoyed "Between Periods" (the despair and wonder came through quite clearly) and "Ghosts", as well as "Man Listening to Disc", which I'd read before. A good variety in terms of form, subject, and style; a welcome addition to my Excellent collection! At first, I was expecting a very pretentious collection, but this was not the case. Some of the poems ("The Most Beautiful Word" and "Incest Taboo" come to mind) were kind of pretentious, but they weren't terrible and had some good aspects. I really enjoyed "Between Periods" (the despair and wonder came through quite clearly) and "Ghosts", as well as "Man Listening to Disc", which I'd read before. A good variety in terms of form, subject, and style; a welcome addition to my collection at least.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Avery Guess

    brenda shaugnessy's "postfeminism" is awesome. i also really like natasha tretheway's "limen" and adrienne su's "the english canon." lucille clifton's "signs" is haunting. i particularly love the last lines of a. e. stallings "asphodel" - brilliant.

  10. 4 out of 5

    SmarterLilac

    There's almost no American poet I like more than Rita Dove, who here proves to be just as strong an editor as she is an artist. The outstanding "Air for Mercury" by Brenda Hillman and Brenda Shaughnessy's "Postfeminism" define this collection for me; it is one of the best in the series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karen Douglass

    I liked her selections, although in any of these Best of series, once I've finished I feel vaguely lost. If I owned the book, I could do a better job of saying why I have this impression. But the book was a loner and I'm lost without it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Steven Withrow

    Working my way through these from 1988 forward, and I've arrived at the 2000 edition. A mixed bag, but great poems by Wilbur, Collins, Clifton, and some others who are new to me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Troy Ketch

    Sometimes I don't understand these poems. Sometimes I do. When I do, I like them a lot.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    poetry

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melissa McClintock

    used as textbook for community college poetry writing class. has a great range of contemporary poets.

  16. 5 out of 5

    George Rae

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kodi Thacker

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

  19. 4 out of 5

    Simeon Berry

  20. 5 out of 5

    April Nelligan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ron Mohring

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marcus Lyons

  24. 4 out of 5

    Louise Leonard

  25. 5 out of 5

    Esther

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jaime T

  27. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

  28. 5 out of 5

    Acolyte

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  30. 5 out of 5

    Doug

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