The Top 3 Poems of 2011

NPR Books published the top three poems of 2011 according to poet Tracy K. Smith. [1] The three poems include:

  1. Laura Kasischke’s “Look,” from Space, in Chains [2]
  2. Rae Armantrout’s “Soft Money,” from Money Shot [3]
  3. and Ross Gay’s “Love, You Got Me Good,” from Bringing the Shovel Down. [4]

I haven’t read any of these poems nor the books from which they originate.

What do I think the top three poems of 2011 should be? Where does one begin to select the top poems of the year? Maybe, what is most memorable? Or has the most enduring image?

I can think of a few books that captured my attention, but there are small number of contemporary American poets that disturb my universe. [5] This may be in part because I have purchased only a few poetry books this year and I have allowed all my favorite literary magazine subscription lapse. And the only poems that really disturb the cosmos of my mind are the poems I endeavored to translate from German and Russian. Due to the obscurity of these poets, I’ll simply offer that the Mountain Xpress’s first annual poetry prize presented a lot of very talented poets to watch in the coming year. [6]

NOTES: [1] Read Tracy K. Smith’s reasons why she selected these three poems as the top three poems of 2011 at NPR Books: Savage Beauty: The Top 3 Poems Of 2011 [2] Read Laura Kasischke’s “Look” [3] Read Rae Armantrout’s “Soft Money” [4] Read Ross Gay’s “Love, You Got Me Good” [5] With apologies to T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” [6] Not that I am biased in any way, but the Mountain Xpress’s 2011 poetry event was most memorable and I look forward to their 2012 event.