Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A week ago, the New York Times Book Review gave a winning review of the new Francine Prose book, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them . I thumbed through the book quickly in the local bookstore. I am a big fan of lists and in the back of the book Prose gives a “list of books to be read immediately.” As I am on a sabbatical of sorts from teaching, I have been reading “the classics” so I wanted to steal some things off the list. I actually found it to be very disappointing. Much of what Prose mentions (Fitzgerald, Hemmingway, Bronte, Austen, Tolstoy) is so obvious to any person whose been to college. And of course, I don’t remember any poets on the list.

So I’ve decided to make a running list of ‘100 Poems, Poets, and Poetry books That Must Be Read Immediately.”

1. “Life at War” Denise Levertov
2. “Howl” Allen Ginsberg
3. “Kaddish” Allen Ginsberg
4. “Talking to the Sun on Fire Island” Frank O’Hara
5. “A Story About the Bees” Robert Hass
6. “Twenty-First Monday Night” Anna Ahkmatova
7. My Life Lynn Heiginian
8. Dream of the Unified Field Jorie Graham
9. “St. Kevin and the Blackbird”
10. The Heat Bird Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge
11. Random Possession Mei-Berssenbrugge
12. The Collected Lorine Neidecker
13. The Collected Muriel Rukeyer
14. Visions of Gerard Jack Kerouac

To be continued…

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