Ben: Is it about death?
I read Wright, Goldbarth, Levis, and some of Gallagher. I liked Wright and fully expected to, and liked Goldbarth more the more I read him. I'll whine more about my problems finding women poets I love in another post.
But the gem, for me, was Levis. I have the vague sense that I've heard of him somewhere (when I say his name I hear it pronounced affectionately by a former teacher), but I can't remember any poems. As I read through each book, I left sticky notes on the pages with poems that I might come back to at essay-writing time. In The Selected Levis this was close to half the pages in the book. My favorite, and the one about which I wrote an essay, is "Slow Child with a Book of Birds." I can't find it anywhere online, but you can read a selection of work by this poet who takes my breath away here and here.
When I'm blue about the state of a poem, especially in the early innings, I go looking around the internet for early drafts of Elizabeth Bishop's magnificent One Art. You can see, in those early versions, the glimmer of what is to come and why the poet was excited about this material. But you also see how flat and
I try not to remember that she spent 20 years revising The Moose.