Waving from Shore: Poems

Lisel Mueller, Author
Lisel Mueller, Author Louisiana State University Press $26.95 (56p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1575-6
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
In her fifth collection, Mueller pays attention, above all, to sound, whether the jazz of Charlie Parker or the cry of a ``rough-voiced, unfailing'' crow. Poems in Part I are lyrical and personal, yet they keep a mannered distance: ``In winter we close the windows / and read Chekhov / nearly weeping for his world. / What luxury, to be so happy / that we can grieve / over imaginary lives.'' In the book's final two sections, silence enables observation: in prose poems, readers watch deaf people dancing to rock music or actors moving about on a muted television screen through ``a life of gestures that make no sense and cannot be altered.'' Soaring above logic, this work enlarges the perceptions that forcefully open the volume. Mueller's The Need to Hold Still won the American Book Award (NBA) in 1981. (Dec.)
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