Odd Mercy: Poems

Gerald Stern, Author W. W. Norton & Company $18.95 (112p) ISBN 978-0-393-03879-8
Stern's inner world is so capacious that the poems that pour forth from it are not easily categorized. These new pieces, which are centered primarily in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, are built of meditation, narration and a pastoral lyricism that turns Gotham into a garden. Stern's visions take shape in the form of bluebirds and sunflowers, sofas and Hondas. And ghosts. Ancestors and Judaic brethren invoke a heritage of suffering throughout, yielding an exquisite melancholy. Also present is Walt Whitman, a secular--even pagan--presence whose vigorous influence is keenly felt as Stern nurtures bucolic verse, sometimes writing from a bug or a bird's eye view. Among this selection's opening salvo of 22 poems, most notable is ``Ida,'' a stunning Kaddish for his mother. The book's second half is comprised of a long poem in 17 sections. Titled ``Hot Dog,'' the street name of a homeless woman whom Stern watches over, the work is an encyclopedic rumination on body and spirit. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/1995
Release date: 09/01/1995
Show other formats
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-0-393-31630-8
Open Ebook - 128 pages - 978-0-393-24752-7
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


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.