Against the Meanwhile

Mark Irwin, Author Wesleyan University Press $14.95 (79p) ISBN 978-0-8195-1151-5
The specter of nuclear holocaust serves as a backdrop against which Irwin's ( The Halo of Desire ) central themes are brought into sharp relief. The time-honored symbolism of the cycles of nature evinces death and rebirth, but redundant and mundane imagery is redeemed by striking combinations of scientific and esthetic perceptions. For example, Irwin's point that all entities in the universe are interconnected, made of the same elements but given different forms, would be hackneyed were it not for the vivid and imaginative illustrations he finds within the world of nature. And so, in the first elegy, ``The Wisdom of the Body,'' he splits open a cocoon and discovers ``a thick and formless jell / the caterpillar gone, / dissolved to a fetal pool of white. / Its center diminished to everywhere. / We too once moved in a sleep like nothing / when liquids giving form / spelled out time's possibility. / So too when put in the earth / the body gives up shape.'' (October)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Hardcover - 79 pages - 978-0-8195-2150-7
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