Behind the Dolphin Smile

Karl Jay Shapiro, Author, Richard O'Barry, Author
Karl Jay Shapiro, Author, Richard O'Barry, Author Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-945575-28-3
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Shapiro is alive--despite an obit that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association asserting that the ``bourgeois poet'' from Baltimore had committed suicide. In this second and final volume of his confessional (a word he loathes), Shapiro writes in the third person (referring to himself as ``the poet'') about his life, career and travels (to India, Japan and Italy) from 1945 until his retirement in California. Here are amusing accounts of his teaching jobs, poetry consultancy at the Library of Congress, editorship of Poetry magazine, friendship with Ellen (Mrs. Adlai) Stevenson, the ``downhill speed'' of American poetry and Shapiro's reputation in recent years. Disappointly, except for ``At Auden's Grave,'' there are few specific references to his own poetry and why he wrote as he did. More of these would have been preferable to reminiscences of his dull extramarital encounters. Photos. (Apr.)
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