Penetralia

Richard Foerster, Texas Review, $14.95 trade paper (80p) ISBN 978-1-933896-55-7
"I've loved the dead too much," Foerster exclaims, "the dessicated dream that tears/ reconstitute": tears of sorrow and long looks at scenes that have brought joy track the poet, in this sixth collection, from first encounters with a longtime lover, in France, through that lover's death in America, and then through the renewals Foerster seeks in the landscapes of New England and beyond. Foerster looks back on that love, and then seeks something new, in a "retreat center," in museums, in a household where "the heart recycles, shreds, and hauls/ itself piecemeal to the curb." Foerster (The Burning of Troy) brings an almost baroque sensibility to his depictions of love and sex between men, and then of illness, "the not-seeing,/ his not-calling," distance and deception, and finally grief. Foerster shows himself alert both to older literature, older visual art (Egyptian tableaux, Emily Dickinson) and to American nature, "what the oaks/ mimic: shuttled limbs, wind-woven/ saturations." Some readers may wonder whether the thickly layered adjectives, the intensity of Foerster's style, might get in the way of insight, though no one will doubt his sincerity. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/17/2011
Release date: 01/01/2011
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