cover image Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons

Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons

Marilyn Hacker. Arbor House, $0 (212pp) ISBN 978-0-87795-817-8

Inspired by passion for one of her poetry studentsRachel of the ""leonine hair''Hacker poured out this extraordinary, long sonnet sequence, with an occasional villanelle thrown in, over the course of their yearlong, mostly long-distance love affair. Since the lovers are often apart, the book is as much a personal diary cum colorful travelogue (during this time Hacker commutes with her young daughter between Manhattan's Upper West Side, Paris and Venice) as it is an account of lust, ecstasy, yearning, jealousy and betrayal. These sonnets are graphic, colloquial and immediate; Hacker's command of the straitening, fixed form, which often seems archaic and empty when used by other poets, is a stunning achievement. (October)