Thursday, January 27, 2005

What's in a Name?

How important is the title of a collection of poems? Have you ever had to have a book just for its title? I admit I mostly purchase on the bases of author's names and recommendations from poets I respect. But I just checked the New Arrivals list at Poetry Daily. Here are the first 5 books on the list:

Birds And Bison, Claire Malroux, tr. Marilyn Hacker (Sheep Meadow Press)
Desesperanto: Poems 1999-2002 (new in paperback), Marilyn Hacker (W. W. Norton & Company)
A Sail To Great Island, Alan Feldman (University of Wisconsin Press)
Aunt Lettuce, I Want to Peek Under Your Skirt, Charles Simic, Illus. Howie Michels (Tin House/Bloomsbury)
Green Rice, Lam Thi My Da, tr. Martha Collins and Thuy Dinh (Curbstone Press)

Does one jump out at you? My collection doesn't include much erotica (and even the one book I have has marriage as its central theme), but I'm considering Simic's book on the title alone. It doesn't hurt that Simic is a tremendous poetic presence, of course.

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