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I started to read “The Best American Poetry 2010” last week. As a recent non-poet, I have had a hard time reading any poetry. And I have tried reading poetry — that same collection as I was growing up. Especially contemporary poetry. Now this is different. I think the thought that has gone in selecting these poems by Amy Gerstler is awesome. I am very thankful that she has done this, not just for poets but for non-poets.

Because, as a recently converted poet, there is no higher need, in my opinion. I think I can say this with almost the authority that John talks about the Bible because I am convert from the other side. The need of poetry is very high for those who are not poets. And this is a book that fulfills some of this need.

And I can see why. Amy’s poetry herself is aimed at that. She teaches a class called “Poetry for non-poets.” I probably need to take that class. Now … when not being a poet is still fresh on my mind. And then I can be a poet that will be understood and actually appreciated by someone who has gone through 6th grade (maybe 8th grade … although I experimented on my son yesterday who is in 2nd grade; I think he will get there soon).

This is part of the “Top 75 2010” project where I am trying to learn from the top 75 American poems of 2010. I will try to comment on the poems from this collection in future posts. Or better yet, try to write my own poems inspired by the styles I read. I have already written a note on John Ashbery’s Alcove, the second poem in the collection.

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