Just some random thoughts:
Pablo Neruda is a masterful image-maker, but a lot of his work is uneven - at least in translation - and at times suffers from that hollowness one risks putting too much weight on the image...some just don't jump off the page, or create the pull of gravitas.
William Carlos Williams wrote great poems, but I think I prefer the philosophical tones of Stevens to Williams' championing of the people - populism gets a bit noxious, but I do admire the veritable foot. His poetry is inventive, important in America's literary tradition.
The best book in my library may be the international poetry anthology by Ecco books - edited by Ilya Kaminsky, a great young poet in his own right, along with Susan Harris. To me this poetry is pure - all of the 20th century, but truly timeless. (http://www.amazon.com/The-Ecco-Anthology-International-Poetry/dp/0061583243)
What impelled me to blog suddenly this afternoon was a thought about great poets, the giants of poetry, often going unappreciated or unknown in their own time - specifically Dickinson, Whitman, Hopkins... To me this situation makes perfect sense. Art must always be new knowledge and completely unfamiliar. Unfortunately what's unfamiliar is uncomfortable or seems unstable, or creates uncertainty, in likely all animals, and editors ARE animals. Whitman said great poets need great readers, but in my experience most people want all poetry to be the same - a PERSONAL, very short narrative focused on sensual details, or some obvious, automatically perceived metaphor. What they don't realize is when everything or everyone is the same, nobody is remembered. It takes courage to be different, to be Dickinson, Whitman, Copernicus, Teddy Roosevelt, Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Martin Luther King.
It's a paradox of the literary world that what is great is not familiar, but what's familiar is published.