cover image Landscape at the End of the Century: Poems

Landscape at the End of the Century: Poems

Stephen Dunn. W. W. Norton & Company, $17.95 (94pp) ISBN 978-0-393-02972-7

Moving outward from the territory of hearth and home he has mapped so well in earlier works, Dunn ( Between Angels ) demonstrates both old and new strengths in this slim, potent volume. A dark abstraction infuses the poems of Part I, as Dunn writes in ``Bringing It Down'' of the man who, observing a jet flying overhead, fantasizes its crashing and his heroism in rescuing survivors. In ``The Man in the Forest,'' a lost man wandering in circles is observed wryly by wild animals that are sure of their place. Part II returns to familiar ground freshly observed, where ``ordinary days of marriage / stretch out like prairie'' (``Epithalamion''); here the poet celebrates ``the ordinary mysteries, women / and men, the broken bridge / between us.'' Rhythmic and insistent, the rousing, lengthy ``Loves''--comprising all of Part III--is a high-spirited, deliciously specific catalogue that ends, ``I love how we go on.'' (Apr.)