The Man Who Grew Silent

Jim Peterson, Author Bench Press (OR) $0 (87p) ISBN 978-0-930769-08-6
This ordinary first collection articulates painful issues that hunger for resolution: the persona's absent father, unstable mother, the wounding isolation of his youth. Peterson aptly captures the premature wisdom of a child who understands the dysfunction of his family; the poems project a tone of steely resignation, of imperative acceptance. But these pieces do not probe deeply: questions are framed but not answered, or the focus shifts to distract both speaker and reader from a futile pursuit of satisfaction or solace: ``I have to get up / and walk into the woods / to find some air with enough bite / to chase my heart / back into its silent cave.'' The occasional transcendence of this cautious stance, with an attendant attempt to accommodate the restive combination of love and disappointment, proves moving: ``I never did know how to say / That somehow you were beautiful to me, / Though I saw it all and heard it all.'' (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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