Each in His Season (American Poets Continuum)

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9780918526991: Each in His Season (American Poets Continuum)

In Each In His Season Pulitzer Prize winner W. D. Snodgrass once again demonstrates the rich versatility that has made him a major presence in American poetry for more than thirty years.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Snodgrass, whose first collection, Heart's Needle , won a Pulitzer Prize in 1960, is a formalist; only on those occasions when his subject matter is strong enough does his writing break through formal constraints. This new collection is almost completely stripped of content, with a few notable exceptions: the final section of a sequential poem about snow's harshness and fragility and a wonderful poem in which the speaker returns to an empty house, recalls the bird trapped there years ago and associates it with a loved one who also took flight. Lacking inspiration, Snodgrass relies on poems falling into facile clusters: a sequence on flowers or another group of poems written for such melodies as "Whispering" or "Various 1930s Love Songs." He resorts to bad puns (the tightrope walker who says he must "keep to the straight and narrow") and awkward rhymes ("entrance, sir" with "young dancer" or "putrid" and "neutered"). Also infuriating are poems built around the character "W.D.," presumably the poet's alter-ego. This well-intentioned dolt bears comparison to the Henry figure in John Berryman's "Dream Songs," but Berryman's use of irony and language is far superior.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Hardly a new-born New Formalist, Snodgrass has long depended on meter and rhyme in his poems. While this strategy occasionally creates forced nursery rhythms and a sing-song spirit ("I vowed and vowed again/ I'd marry me no more;/ I hadn't met you then./ I reswear all I swore"), for the most part it blends in wonderfully with the overall rich texture of sounds and comfortable cadences of colloquial speech: "The high-priced jeans, the new car--she got what/ She wanted; she'd been taught to want a lot./ To her girl friend in back, she talked about/ Which of her friends shacked up with which." Snodgrass enjoys a many-layered reputation: as a playful minstrel with delightful songs, an introspective monologist, and a confessional writer, honest and blunt. His eighth collection of poems since 1960 includes a bit of everything, more than a little risk, and a number of gems. Recommended for most collections.
- Louis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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