Poetry William Baer The Unfortunates

ISBN 13: 9780943549477

The Unfortunates

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9780943549477: The Unfortunates

A unique collection of uncompromising poetic portraits written in the tradition of Masters, Robinson, and the verse portraits of Pound and Eliot. Each portrait has a specific, unsettling tale to tell, and the sum total of these poems provides a powerful commentary on contemporary life in the American fin de siecle.

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About the Author:

William Baer

Review:

The poetic stock of Edwin Arlington Robinson appears to be on the rise after lying dormant for many years. William Baer's award-winning collection of poems follows in the footsteps of Robinson, the "Prince of Heartachers" as Robert Frost called the early modernist. Baer's poetry is composed of brief character studies filled with troubling insights and hard-boiled moral reflections. This indicates not only a deep study of a poet long out of fashion but also a revitalization of blank verse portraits that are as difficult to do well as they are rare these days to encounter. One would have to return to Eliot, Pound, or Browning to rediscover this lost tradition. Still Baer's competence is apparent. He writes with confidence of the beleaguered, the yearning. Should the lover of modern formal verse purchase this book, or the lover of contemporary verse? Yes, but a word of warning: Baer's sensibility is bleak beyond bleak. The influence of James Dickey, with whom the poet studied, is often more apparent than that of Robinson. Too bad. Tragedy too easily achieved leads not to catharsis but exasperation. Robinson possessed a delicate range of sympathy that allowed him to understand the complexities of suicide, as well as the successful millionaire, the desperate housewife, the wizard or the private detective. Robinson's heroes always retain a keen sense of the greatness they have failed to achieve; one is not so sure Baer's do the same, which is unfortunate. -- From Independent Publisher

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Baer, William
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