A book I would recommend to anyone interested in poetry, and a book that has me thinking more and more about formalist poetry. I’ve gone back and revisited a lot of poets’ work while making my way through The Anthologist: it is part of the joy in reading a book like this. It’s a book about poetry, but the one issue I take with it is that it’s supposedly a novel: as far as plot and the narrator’s ongoing quest to write the introduction for an anthology of rhymed verse he’s collected, The Anthologist is a mess. On the other hand, it’s filled with poetic tidbits: the history of rhyme; the debates about iambic pentameter; poetic quarrels; the lives and work of many poets and their intersecting paths. It was a pleasure to read solely for these poetic meanderings, lessons in scansion and rhythm, the account of Bogan’s affair with Roethke, and how poetry is an inescapable and necessary part of our daily lives.