Toward the End of the Century: Essays Into Poetry

Wayne Dodd, Author University of Iowa Press $16 (154p) ISBN 978-0-87745-256-0
The essays collected in this slim volume might more appropriately be read as journal entries. They are fragmentary, disjointed thoughts-for the most part not fully explored or developed-rather than carefully investigated formulations. Frequently Dodd restates the obvious: Poems are never merely.... They are their own uses. They are not resolved, they are entered. Dodd probes the meaning of language, the use and misuse of metrics. He attempts to relate poetry to science and to other art forms. Filled with phrases such as I believe, I think, or it seems to me, these essays seem to pose hypotheses-both to readers and to the author himself. From a major writer, a highly subjective stance can be effective; but Dodd's work is not distinctive enough-even though he has published 11 books of poetry-to sustain this introspective technique. Were his own opinions stronger, they might spark readers into a dialogue, but there is little to argue with here. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of these essays is Dodd's ability to combine the thoughts of poets, mathematicians and scientists in interesting ways. Dodd is editor of the Ohio Review. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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