Let There Be Light: Poems

Philip Appleman, Author HarperCollins Publishers $21.95 (82p) ISBN 978-0-06-055273-2
In his newest collection of poems, Appleman ( Open Doorways ) deals directly and uncompromisingly with the inexplicability of God's treatment of man , recasting stories from the Old and New Testaments to show God in a more human light. In ``Sarah,'' God and Abraham are literally ``nose to nose,'' arguing over the fate of Sodom. Abraham asks, ``How about / all the good folks over there? . . . are you going to blast them right along / with the perverts?'' In the humorous but tragic ``Noah,'' one of the ark-builder's sons angrily questions God's purpose in murdering most of the creatures on earth with His ``killer flood'': ``Listen / Dad, I thought you said He / was omniscient--well, then, / wouldn't He have foreseen all this?'' Using language that is smooth and fluid, Appleman skillfully explores the comic potential of these myths, but never to the point of caricature. Other poems stress the simple pleasures of love and the quiet beauty of life amid the pain caused by God's unrelenting cruelty. Unfortunately, for all of his probing religious revisionism, the poet ultimately offers only this feeble conclusion: ``God /is . . . a trick with mirrors, our / dark reflection in a glass.'' (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 82 pages - 978-0-06-096832-8
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