Writing the Silences

Richard O. Moore, Author, Brenda Hillman, Editor, Paul Ebenkamp, Editor , edited by Brenda Hillman and Paul Ebenkamp. Univ. of California $50 (107p) ISBN 978-0-520-26243-0 ISBN 978-0-520-26244-7

Almost 60 years of thoughtful, terse, decidedly modernist verse and prose poetry come together in this first collection. Part of the circle of West Coast radical writers around Kenneth Rexroth during the 1940s and '50s, Moore helped to found Pacifica Radio, then produced hundreds of literary programs for the public TV station KQED. All the while he was writing poetry, much of it tersely humble, both philosophical and political, with cadence reminiscent of George Oppen: “How may I be wrong and/ at random say 'I know'/ as the wars go on?” Moore's prose poems show more emotion, and more detail, letting loose with rage or else with satire: “There are those who will start again and again and alone, and there are those who will wait for War to come in their time.” Advancing years (“baggage/ of old age/ tagged and waiting”), landscape, and grief provide occasional themes, but rarely interrupt Moore's focus on the largest questions of ethics, of thought, questions he addresses in the serious fragments out of which his poems are made. The volume offers obvious parallels to other poets discovered in late life, especially to Landis Everson, who moved in the same Berkeley circles. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 136 pages - 978-0-520-26244-7
Open Ebook - 136 pages - 978-0-520-94615-6
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