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The International Library of Poetry (ILP) issues each year a collection of poems recognized by this independent publishing body as the world's best. In 2004, the annual collection was entitled, Tracing the Infinite, and includes the poem, "Prey," written by a Luddite Online author.

Available on Amazon and Google Books, Tracing the Infinite is an excellent introduction to contemporary world poetry, as are all the volumes issued by the ILP. According to a review on Amazon.com:

I love the forward in this book and it sets the stage for the poems [within] it. Some of the works are hard to understand, but are understood with in the heart of the writer, but others like "coffee cups" and "time" are often funny or make you think.

There is a lot of valid criticism of the ILP and of the value of poetry generally. However, The ILP and its associated site, poetry.com, do not pretend to be more than a clearinghouse and open marketplace for writers and poets starting out or academics looking for a productive slush pile. Furthermore, as the Amazon review indicates, while these volumes may be somewhat obscure and not particularly mainstream or wildly popular, they do accomplish the job of poetry: "they are often funny or make you think," and provide a respite from the usual daily toil, which sometimes can make all the difference.

September 2021
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