Poems of the Year: A Personal List for 2017

Poems are an old-fashioned pleasure, and simultaneously brand-new every time you read them.

Here are my favorites of the past year. They weren’t written in 2017. Some of them, I didn’t even read for the first time in 2017. But they were significant for 2017.

Poetry no longer plays a starring role in our cultural life, and I think that’s too bad. As JFK said, “When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”

The corruption of power was definitely in evidence in 2017, here are some poems that, one way or another, gave a little cleansing.

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