Perennial Fall

Maggie Dietz, Author . Univ. of Chicago $16 (61p) ISBN 978-0-226-14850-2

Stately free verse, pentameter stanzas and quatrains commemorate lost lovers, a child suicide, elegiac landscapes and, above all, a brother who may have killed himself seven years ago; Dietz depicts them all, in this debut, with clarity and resolve. Dietz's technique suggests, at its most lyrical, Derek Walcott, at its starkest the recent poems of Robert Pinsky, though Dietz includes a quiet humility, even a resignation, alien to both. "The immutable speaks," she declares; "Anyone can hear who listens." Despite its variety of line and locale, some readers may find the volume too emotionally uniform, too given to a single, regretful note: yet this uniformity—or unity—comes perhaps from the elegiac tradition in which Dietz works, one designed to answer the largest questions of all: "what it means to love and suffer," as her last poem phrases it, "what it is to die and live." (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Hardcover - 61 pages - 978-0-226-14849-6
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