For my leisure reading this week, I'm alternating between a couple of fantastic books, both 'New & Selected,' and both by two American poets who deserve a wide readership. These are the books:
New & Selected Poems 2006 by Stanley Moss
The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems: 1972-2007 by Albert Goldbarth
Stanley Moss might be better known to many as the publisher of The Sheep Meadow Press, but he is a first rate poet in his own right. His poems are robust, intelligent and deeply felt, and there are several in this selection that give me chills. Moss is an atheist, and his poems often challenge the simplistic assertions and logical failings of superstition and magical thinking, making this book all the more human, and humane, as a result. One of my favourites, a poem called "The Good Shepherd" was recently featured on Poetry Daily.
Albert Goldbarth is a much different poet than Moss in terms of mood (Goldbarth is less terse and more free-wheeling than Moss) but no less robust, intelligent or deeply felt. Put short, Goldbarth is the paragon of erudition. In a poem, he can bring us science, history, crime, folly, romance, myth, enchantment, entertainment, and sometimes all that in just the title. His poem "Heart Heart Heart Heart Heart Heart Heart" is something I will be reading again and again, along with several others he's written, for years to come.
Both books are highly recommended.