I've read most of Forché, backwards – 1st The Angel of History (1994) a year or 2 after it came out, then The Country Between Us (1981) maybe 3 years ago, & only now her 1st book, Gathering the Tribes. (Haven't seen the most recent – 2003 – Blue Hour.) I've found them of diminishing interest, I guess, tho I can't really muster much enthusiasm even for Angel. Gathering is very assured, intelligent writing, however: very, very good, of its kind. Stanley Kunitz's foreword leers embarrassingly, even for 1976 ("the outstanding Sapphic poem of an era").
Of course, whenever I read a book that I can sense is well-written, deeply-felt, etc. etc. by a poet from another aesthetic tradition & find myself unable to work up any sort of enthusiasm, I get all worried that I'm falling into the manicheanism that Don Share excoriates so nicely in his "little everyday fascisms" post*, referring transparently yet coyly to Ron Silliman's response to the reams of reviewery devoted to the Lowell/Bishop letters. Don makes the case rather nicely for a kind of "big tent" response to poetry, or what Eliot Weinberger calls somewhere "exogamous reading": "I know of no bookshelf," sez Don, "that can't simultaneously contain Lowell, Bishop, and the other poets mentioned above [Zukofsky, Oppen, Olson], along with Niedecker, Bunting, Pound, Eliot, Ashbery, the recently canonized Jack Spicer and dozens more."
I wonder if in my case it isn't a matter of breadth & intensity of attention, whether the enquiring faculties of my poor limited brain aren't simply scrambling for the RAM necessary to keep up a real attention to what's really consuming me at the moment (broadly defined): the five or six poets I'm supposed to be reviewing or writing essays about right now as I blog, the French Revolution, Beckett, garden history & theory, neoclassical architecture, the English Revolution, Hegel, Panofsky, etc.
Or maybe I'm just a dilettante. Hey, that's it! Any way, about 10 years ago I gave up chucking books because they didn't fit into the moment's aesthetic configuration; it always turned out that there would come a moment when I wanted just that volume, & it was gone. So until the shelves are double-full & can hold no more, or the house collapses Umberto Ecoishly, my poetry section is by default a big tent.
Hey, did I mention that I have a podcast up at the Poetry Foundation?
*Tho I find it ironical that one of his commenters sees fit to paraphrase a conversation with August Kleinzahler, perhaps the only person on earth I consider a true enemy – tho I've still got his books on my shelf.