Eight Longer Poems

David R. Slavitt, Author Louisiana State University Press $14.95 (45p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1597-8
These extended meditations contemplate with studied intelligence and subtle wit the complexities of art, imagination and the `` slow and painful business'' of human existence. Parlayingon a diverse range of historical and mythological characters for his subject matter and speakers--such legendary figures as Achilles and Vlad the Impaler come to life in these pages--Slavitt ( Equinox and Other Poems ) transforms personal tragedy and individual suffering into universal circumstance: ``We respond to his Prince's railing / as if he were giving voice / to our own hurts, as of course / he is. . . .'' The certainty ``that we have been hurt and deeply'' preoccupies the poet, who makes consistent, albeit excessive use of the words ``blood'' and ``wounds'' to underscore this central thematic concern. Nonetheless, while Slavitt offers little promise of deliverance, his inventiveness and proficient manipulation of language bear out his stated hope: ``That there can be / poems changes the stillness.'' (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 56 pages - 978-0-8071-1598-5
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