Selves

Philip Booth, Author
Philip Booth, Author Viking Books $17.95 (96p) ISBN 978-0-670-83055-8
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
Set against the backdrop of his beloved Maine, Booth's eighth poetry collectionwant a previous title?/not necessary me thinks.gs evokes a world of nameless presences, of invading darkness. Zeros on his car's odometer call to mind ``how we've already poisoned the planet . . . wired our lives to suicide bombsis there a line break here?/no.gs .'' If there is any redemption, the poet implies, it comes through having loved well and wisely. He writes tenderly, wryly about keeping love alive throughout a long marriage. He evinces compassion for hospital patients, the neglected elderly, a drowned man. A missing glove, yelping seals, a chipmunk stunned by a cat elicit his poetic responses, filigree structures that, at their most intense, achieve a kind of naked, direct diction (``So, there's no way to be sure. Not about much of anything''line breaks?/no.gs ); elsewhere, his imagery is elliptical. Booth is a traveler keenly, almost mystically, aware that ``How you get there is where you'll arrive.'' (Mar.)
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