New and Selected Poems 1966-1996

H. R. Coursen, Author
H. R. Coursen, Author E. M. Press $17.5 (155p) ISBN 978-1-880664-17-9
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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This uneven collection of seven new poems and 120 selections from 17 previous books treats varied themes: love, military aviation, sports, philosophy, nature. In one early poem, Coursen imagines life run in reverse like a film: ""Oranges sheathe themselves/ in peel... Suns lurch and pale/ to the east to set,/ seducing darkness from the west."" In a later poem, he alternates lines from two 11-line verses to make a third, with no expansion of meaning. Many poems titled only by place and date seize the moment but, without capturing a measure of universality in narrative or description, seem mainly exercise. Without the consistent presence of powerful language, these poems comprise a modest collection. (Sept.)
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