The Little Voices of the Pears

Herbert Morris, Author Harper Perennial $11.95 (79p) ISBN 978-0-06-096363-7
Morris ( Peru ) here ruminates on a particular image and, by discursive consideration of its myriad associations, carves a circuitous path toward illumination. Although diverse in focus--a Civil War photograph, an actress's earrings, a Latin class--the works share the same form, a lengthy stream-of-consciousness narrative. Despite their syntactical tautness, the verses often lose their vigor; the numerous tangents in any one sentence obscure the poetry's themes and their development. At its best, the structure serves as a metaphor for the most insistent motif--the inertia that results from excessive meditation. Just as the poem is trapped within a repetitive frame in which progress is dubious, so the narrator, adhering to the same construct, denies himself further experience or growth. Like the character in the first piece who desires to ``want, / that, perhaps, more than anything: to want,'' those who inhabit these poems--and the poems themselves--exist without the possibility of impulse. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Hardcover - 79 pages - 978-0-06-055163-6
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