Selected and Last Poems

Paul Zweig, Author, C. K. Williams, Editor Wesleyan University Press $13.95 (111p) ISBN 978-0-8195-1159-1
The late Zweig ( Against Emptiness) focuses on the inevitable isolation of existence in these consistently visual, carefully modulated narratives. ``We don't talk about the war anymore, / . . . Forgetting the stripped faces, the soup of limbs / Left when the bombs have fallen,'' he writes, deferring to an unquestioned belief in the inherently destructive nature of man. Proceeding with elaborate caution, Zweig defends himself against the anguish this conviction visits upon him by affirming the comforts of the physical world: ``To be alone in the woods . . . / after a long rain has soaked the forest floor, / And the sun has begun its languorous tattoo / Past the chestnut leaves.'' This central dichotomy between the distress of the individual and sensory pleasure is not resolved; Zweig's emotions are inhibited by his certainty that ``the inmost room in our bodies was a grave.'' Ultimately the poems are static, mired in Zweig's fatalism: ``The ice storm caught us unawares / And we froze into busy postures and went on living.'' (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
Hardcover - 111 pages - 978-0-8195-2158-3
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