cover image Living in Time

Living in Time

Rachel Hadas / Author Rutgers University Press $34 (204p) ISBN

Hadas ( Pass It On ) reflects on time in these two sections of essays and the long poem they enclose: ``The Dream Machine.'' Her essays approach the meaning of time from a variety of perspectives. In ``Morning in Ormos'' Hadas remembers her four years living in a small Greek village, a period that for her ushered in adulthood. ``The Lights Must Never Go Out,'' the strongest essay in the book, tells of the author's experiences leading a poetry workshop for men with AIDS: writing poetry becomes a way of slowing the time they have left to live. ``On Time'' explains how different poets--Keats, Philip Larkin, Adrienne Rich--have viewed time as a thief of days and as a messenger of the sublime. All of these deliberations on time Hadas incorporates into the central poem, a profound meditation on reality stemming from a question her son proposes--``Mommy, was that story real you read me?'' Reading and poetry are ways of mediating reality, of changing or even creating reality: ``Delicate, ephemeral, complex / clusters of wish and memory and loss/take shape in patterns that inspire belief / beyond experience.'' (Oct.)