I do believe in this Keillorish category of good poems, alas. I also impute this belief to all other poets. So then, what about Ray's remarks:
What I want from an edited volume is this: that the editor apply, in the act of judgment, a set of analytical and evaluative resources that allow her to consider not only the merits of aesthetic choices relative to competitive aesthetics, but relative to that aesthetic itself. In other words, I want to know what the editor finds as the best of everything, not the best of what she likes.
Is that a fair request to make of a poet? A disinterested editor, certainly, but a living working poet, subscribing to a poetics learned from a teacher/precursor/bullying older friend? That poetics, that set of assumptions -- every poet can be presumed to come by it honestly, at least until proven to be a phony/careerist/con man/Republican.
Jordan - #