Valentine Place: Poems

David Lehman, Author Scribner Book Company $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-81570-1
Infidelity, failed marriage, attempted romance, elusive trysts, American Jewish identity and boyhood's lost innocence absorb the attention of the middle-aged, middle-class New York City man whose lightly ironic voice speaks in Lehman's third poetry collection. On the whole, however, the poems stall in facile philosophizing ("" `Sometimes what you thought was an interruption/ Turns out to be your life' ""), a too-clever tone and a tired formula of male-female interaction (""His mind was the most masculine part of him./ She told him, hating herself for loving him""). Flashes of rich sardonic insight and occasional biting observations, such as in the poetry-focused ""Wedding Song,"" prevent the collection from sinking under its own weight. (Feb. )
Reviewed on: 01/29/1996
Release date: 02/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 94 pages - 978-0-684-82279-2
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