Over at his blog, Jeff Prucher has challenged readers to think of five major LIVING poets. Can you do it? No cheating, no Googling, no looking at your bookshelf or New Yorkers! For verisimilitude, pretend Alex Trebek is staring smugly at you: doo DEE doo doo, doo DEE doo. . . Write down your answers, then see if you agree with mine (after the fold).
This was a little sad, since two poets I had the pleasure of hearing in person, whom I’d like to list, the charming Agha Shahid Ali and Stanley Kunitz, passed away recently.
Among living masters, Seamus Heaney plainly rules the roost (and would hold his own against the greatest dead poets, I’d wager). I can have only four others, so this list is biased: Louise Gluck, Jack Gilbert, Mary Oliver, Li-Young Li. Not necessarily the biggest names, but they’re the ones I want on my list of “major” (whatever that means) poets. Who would you choose?