Day 23: George David Clark on Five of His Favorite Poetry Books

April 23, 2011

George David Clark shares his favorite poetry books published in the last five years?

Elaine Equi’s Ripple Effect (2007)

Nervy little jungle gyms of wit, these poems. You read Equi for the most serious kind of play there is.

Lisa Russ Spaar’s Satin Cash (2008)

If poems are vehicles, Spaar’s are sports cars. Everything inch of this book is bright and exotic. I admire the sheer horsepower of its language and how smooth the poems handle.

Carl Philips’ Speak Low (2009)

I can think of no other poet since Elizabeth Bishop so adept at dramatizing the shape a rigorous thought makes. His hesitations, his oscillations, the contortions of his syntax, are themselves romantic.

Bobby Rogers’ Paper Anniversary (2010)

They certainly don’t read like poems in a first book, these strange combinations of generosity and precision. Rogers can be candid on the subject of artifice, pithy in long lines, eloquently plain-spoken. There’s actual wisdom in this book. Where else do you find that?

Christian Wiman’s Every Riven Thing (2010)

These poems are challenging on a dozen levels, not the least of which is the poet’s complicated relationship with God. Wiman’s psalms, like David’s, can be angry, demanding, humble, and intimate by turns. The loving care in their accoustics can make curses sound like worship.

BIO: George David Clark’s poems have appeared most recently in Shenandoah, Smartish Pace, and Willow Springs as well as online at Verse Daily and Poetry Daily.

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