Thinking Makes It So: The poetry 500 and the poet hunter

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By Kelly LeVan

On Poemhunter.com, a resource I frequently use to find specific poems, Pablo Neruda ranks above William Shakespeare. On a list of the site’s “Top 500 Poets,” Neruda comes in higher than John Keats, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Odgen Nash, ee cummings, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, Billy Collins – the great poets from every time period, with voices that never wane and names anyone who’s ever had to take a required English course in college has probably heard of.As if this isn’t bad enough, above Neruda – there’s only one poet better than Neruda, according to Poemhunter – is someone named Joe Fazio.I have at least read Neruda, even if I would rather have been cleaning the sticky area under the sink.But Fazio I haven’t even heard of.His high standing reveals one of two possibilities: I can’t trust every Top 500 list on the Internet, or my M.F.A.

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