Grazing

Ira Sadoff, Author University of Illinois Press $15.95 (88p) ISBN 978-0-252-06737-2
A tentative, moody toughness runs through Sadoff's poems, wrenching them into odd shapes, and showing the poet to be suspicious of epiphany even as he courts it. At heart, though, Sadoff (Emotional Traffic) is a romantic, and many of the poems here drift on a tide of bitter retrospection that finds form now in a talky humor (""Go to the zoo. Just pay attention,/ for Christ's sake"") now in a kind of stoical despair (""Until the end, when we're indecipherable,/ composed, seraphic, speechless""). In the passage of time, whether it registers images from the war in Vietnam (""When I Come Home""; ""In the Dream"") or from more private erotic conflicts (""Solitude Etude""; ""Biographical Sketch""), Sadoff locates both the origin and the terminus of lament. And though the public and political struggles of the 1960s anchor the poet's open rhetoric--""I want to bury him in southern California/ with the Birchers and Libertarians,"" he writes in ""On the Day of Nixon's Funeral""--his intimate wars on the home front seem even more devastating: ""I spent years on my knees while she/ got off before me, her eyes fluttering closed,/ her mind several men away.... "" While his pointed rhetoric can occasionally shade into a gruff machismo, this sixth collection is most effective when Sadoff permits himself free play with the demotic, achieving a persuasive blend of sentiment and ironic swagger. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.