Here's a comment on that thought:
I was quite intrigued with your idea of the poetry book that a particular reader might find nearly perfect from beginning to end. Readers choices would certainly be subjective and very interesting! I've thought of four. They were published in 1609, 1923, 1928 and 1962.
I, too, was intrigued and was also curious as to what were Jeffrey's 4 choices; for that matter, I, too, am curious if anyone else has any thoughts about what they consider to be a perfect or near perfect book of poems. So, my reply:
I think you have a great idea about asking for readers' choices of poetry books that are consistently good throughout. Maybe I'll see if folks would be interested in sharing which books they feel are nearly perfect in a future post.
Since you obviously have 4 in mind, would you like to begin by sharing which ones they are?
Here are Jeffrey's 4 volumes of near perfect poems:
1. The Sonnets (William Shakespeare/1609)
2. Harmonium (Wallace Stevens/1923)
3. The Tower (W.B. Yeats/1928)
4. Silence In The Snowy Fields (Robert Bly/1962)
Anyone else have any thoughts on this? Is there one (or more) book(s) of poems you think is near perfect, including selected poems? Small press, big press, classic, contemporary, and everything in between, it doesn't matter - it just needs to fit the bill.
Honestly, I'm not sure if there are any that I can think of myself offhand that fit the definition, so obviously I need to go back and think this through a bit more thoroughly. I can think of a lot of my favorite books of poetry but I'm not sure they would make the cut. If you are so inclined, send responses (including if you think there is no such thing) via the comment link and I'll post them as I get them.
To add some incentive to all this expended brain power, for the next week anyone responding to this question will receive a 6 issue gift subscription to Lilliput Review. If you are already a subscriber, I'll extend your current subscription by 6 issues.
Deadline: May 6th.
PS If you are completely stumped, how about sending along the name of your favorite (if imperfect) book of poems? If you do before the deadline, the subscription offer applies. Please do however let me know if it's just a fav or if it really is near perfect. I'll continue to encourage people to send in their thoughts after the deadline; just no gift subscriptions after the 6th.