Folded Heart

Michael Collier, Author Wesleyan University Press $14.95 (54p) ISBN 978-0-8195-1171-3
In his second book, Collier ( The Clasp ) applies a characteristically light touch to profundities: traveling through memory, from conscious to unconscious knowledge, or in physical space that soon acquires figurative dimension, the poet plumbs personal matters of fact that effortlessly outgrow the personal. His narrators seek out the transfiguring moment. In ``Spider Tumor,'' one of the strongest poems, a visit to a childhood friend brings a luminously clarifying encounter with death and the understanding that this meeting is only one of many the future holds for the narrator, while in ``The Lights,'' a boy notices the way ivy ``feet'' have left tracks on a brick wall in ``a pattern radiating / like a corner of a galaxy.'' Looking but not straining for inherent ``patterns'' in his subjects, Collier writes with selfless grace about experience; his personas are elegantly unassuming. In his work, ``the earth's / powdery talc obscures our keen desires with time,'' but a reckoning with those desires is still necessary, even if in conclusion one finds ``twenty years have passed and I feel / the absence of something / I never held.'' (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Hardcover - 54 pages - 978-0-8195-2169-9
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