The Nearest Poem Anthology (Paperback)

By Sofia M. Starnes (Editor)

Cedar Creek Pub, 9780989146500, 252pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2014

List Price: 16.00*
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The Nearest Poem Anthology is not a hit parade of poems, nor is it a selection of our most popular poets. Once a poem is written, the poet recedes powerless to do more and the poem must rely on a reader for its survival. It is the reader's response to a poem that guarantees its life. The anthology is, therefore, a testament to the multiple lives of poetry, its constant reincarnation. A poem may remain dormant for a while decades, even centuries and then someone picks it up, takes it to heart, finds in its words and nuances echoes of a personal experience. And the poem finds a new birth. Most readers probably have several nearest poems, poems they have approached intimately, tangibly, at different moments of their lives. For the purpose of this anthology, all contributors selected and submitted only one. From the classics to contemporary authors, The Nearest Poem Anthology is a collection of over 100 poems that touched the lives of Virginians, along with an essay they wrote to share their response to the poem, how the poem has been reborn in them. Some poets are represented through several poems: Dickinson, Frost, Longfellow, Donne. It is interesting to see how great poetry drops barriers, how the same poet speaks personally, even intimately, to very different readers. To take Dickinson, for example, the anthology has five of her poems with five corresponding essays. The readers are a U.S. senator, a college professor, a Methodist minister, a twelve-year-old 7th grader, and a retired teacher. This range is further evidence of the word's power to suggest, rather than define. (Excerpt from the Introduction by Sofia M. Starnes, Poet Laureate of Virginia, 2012-2014)