I'd like to take a break from composing and say I've been enjoying this, so far. I essentially stopped even attempting writing poems for several years, so this has been rewarding for me, and has made me work faster.
Also, I'd like to play blogger for a moment. When the Favorite Poem Project was in its infancy, I didn't take part. I even attended parties for it, readings, receptions, whatever, but never picked up the phone or camera to share my favorite. That's only because, as I freely admit, I'm a slightly odd man and a bit of an ass, and maybe, with all respect, (and why it matters I don't know), I was afraid of Robert Pinsky, as he reminded me of a basketball coach who once terrorized me. That said, if I had recorded myself reading a poem for that great project, it would have been this one.
It's difficult to pick a favorite anything, be it song, movie, memory, etc. But for me, a good indicator is when the favorite thing transcends the time and place you were when you first experienced it. There are no permanent associations, yet there is every association, if that makes sense. The Yeats poem knots my stomach every time. It reminds me of the first time I read it, sure, and reminds me of today. (Funny, I've long considered Yeats as someone who willed himself into being as an artist, that he was self-invented. Still, it's my favorite. I have that same feeling about Nina Simone's live version of "The Twelfth of Never," and Robert Altman's, "McCabe & Mrs. Miller," but I should stay on topic.)
In the May/June 2007 issue of Poets & Writers, which arrived in our box yesterday, Amy Rosenberg's "First" article features Eliza Griswold. Amy is a close friend of mine, and Eliza and I are old friends and classmates (who've lost touch), but all that is a coincidence and beside the point. After reading the article, I'm compelled to say what you have in Eliza Griswold is extremely rare and should be noted and appreciated (and will be, very likely, and soon), and has not been seen in a long while in America, and that is a dedicated, fine, and hard-wrought poet who is simultaneously intensely successful in another field (well, a field of interest, e.g., not finance). She deserves far better than I can offer in this little space I've occupied while my kid is napping, so read Amy Rosenberg's article in P&W when you have the chance, and then Eliza Griswold's first book of poems.