The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2012, ed. Carmine Starnino, Tightrope Books, will challenge me and my students, starting tomorrow (in their case, yesterday in mine).
"[S]aying something true about life" (from his Introduction) we will either look for or not, or find or not. Starnino offers that phrase as half of a shorthand--"a game" being the other half--in his sketch of the range of Canadian poetry, at least as surveyed via "54 print and on-line magazines", as Molly Peacock's Prologue has it. (Peacock is the Series Editor of the Best series, now in its 5th outing.)
Like many of my students, I can buy in to versions of that range, which may change with every poem. These are first-year students, for whom a poem, any poem at all, offers an invitation to either quit before reading or smother with interpretations, used ones, worn out.
Of course I generalize here. One poem will generate fresh energy in the body and mind of one reader. "Also a twilight everything turns from:" (Susan Gillis, "Solstice Night"), for example, will take us from a conventional, if fresh enough, depiction of snow on a lone house on a winter evening to "We're burning / everything we have", from the last two lines, which I for one will read as a way to read.
And in other poems the games will make us play.