I'm a rookie, and I'm not sure I know what I'm doing. But here goes:
Everyone has a stash of top tens--at my house, it's usually top fives, homage to
Nick Hornby and High Fidelity. On Humanophone and JewishIrishy, Janet Holmes
and Laurel, respectively, have published their 10 poems they can't live without, or
whatever. Here are mine (in no order, because really, come on.):
Robert Frost, "Directive"
Anne Carson, The Beauty of the Husband
William Shakespeare, "That time of year thou may'st in me behold"
W.B. Yeats, "Among School Children"
Campbell McGrath, "The Bob Hope Poem"
Larry Levis, "My Life in a Late Style of Fire"
John Ashbery, "Syringa"
Elizabeth Bishop, "At the Fishhouses"
Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"
A.R. Ammons, "For Harold Bloom"
Ten is a good number, really--five is impossible. If you play fives, it just means you're not playing for keeps.