William Pitt Root, Author University of Pittsburgh Press $0 (80p) ISBN 978-0-8229-3530-8
The ponderousness with which Root invests his poems is rarely justified. Witness this epilogue, which could be a parody of solemn self-congratulation: ""Dry words/are for building/ on dry sand./ Who would build/ a house upon the rock/ must leave/the mountain quarry/ and learn to gather boulders from the air.'' Some poems, descriptions of Western landscapes or wild animals, seem to have no point other than to establish an atmosphere. A piece about a swallow trapped in a glass house is familiar and pedestrian, as is one about the opening of the hunting season, ``where the innocent are stalked by the justified.'' A long bad dream (``Fireclock'') and a trip to Mexico (``The Anonymous Welcome'') wind up as little more than shaggy-dog poems. The writer appears to have a vocabulary of received ideas about the beauty and terror of life that he is searching intently for poems to fulfill, but the poems do not stand by themselves. (March)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Genre: Fiction
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