Cities & Towns -Jp

Arthur Vogelsang, Author
Arthur Vogelsang, Author University of Massachusetts Press $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55849-021-5
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Vogelsang (A Planet and Twentieth Century Women), who has been an editor at the American Poetry Review for over 20 years, employs mega-imagery (""he worried for the entire world""), a disorientation of time and place and metaphysical pondering couched in everyday language. In ""Lyric,"" thinking of writing a song on a cross-country road trip, the speaker wonders: ""Put the sun's memory in it./ What? What? My memory of the sun from earlier today/ Or the sun's memory in its own brain?"" This collection, winner of the publisher's 1995 Juniper Prize, is a slippery fish of a book. The poems reflect the effort, grace and intelligence of a practiced poet, but their actual content seems to evaporate with the turn of a page. Exhibiting neither uniquely disturbing visions nor off-the-wall perceptions, these poems have the effect of flashes of landscape seen from a speeding car or snatches of vivid conversation overheard at a bar: they command a reader's attention but have difficulty holding it. (Apr.)
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