Victor Altshul Stumblings

ISBN 13: 9781481897563

Stumblings

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A book of forty short poems that "through humor and wit, playfully and slyly lure the reader into deeper explorations of love, loss, life and death."

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About the Author:

Victor Altshul has been a practicing psychiatrist in New Haven, Connecticut for nearly fifty years. This is his first book of poetry.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A sensitive, precise and moving first offering from a poet of real promise. For 50 years, Altshul has practiced psychiatry in New Haven, Conn., and now, in the autumn of his life, he’s published his first book of poetry. If he’s half as good a therapist as he is a poet, he must have some extremely healthy patients, for this is as accomplished a debut collection as readers are likely to find. He is, as he calls his old friend Charlie, “the real deal,” and in his verse, he does what Charlie does: “he’d never use a second syllable / where one would do.” Like all good poets, Altshul knows that words are valuable and ought to be spent wisely, and he brings this standard of care to topics both high-flown and mundane. In “Wotan,” a tongue-in-cheek ode to a character from Richard Wagner’s operatic Ring cycle, he reflects on the god’s vexed relationship with his daughter while also exploring the nature of parenthood: “Maybe we are / all a bit better than those who bore us. / I like to think that I exceed / my progenitors in goodness, / as bad as you are, I have no doubt / that you are better than your creator, / but that’s not saying all that much.” There’s so much for readers to enjoy here, from the unpretentious alliteration in the second line—bit, better, bore—to the light-touch critique of Wagner himself (Wotan’s “creator”) later on. Altshul trusts his readers to know, or discover, that Wagner was an anti-Semite and a hero to Hitler, and thus refuses to wax bombastic unnecessarily. He also addresses smaller, domestic topics with equal skill and grace, as in “Standpipe,” a capable piece of observation that turns a drainage tube into a metaphor for missed communications: “The standpipe is merciless, taunting. / We are listening carefully to each other, / but we cannot seem to agree on the water level, / on what is standpipe, what reflection.” A mature poetic effort from a sure-handed rookie.

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Book Description CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Paperback. Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. 62 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.0in. x 0.1in.A book of forty short poems that through humor and wit, playfully and slyly lure the reader into deeper explorations of love, loss, life and death. This item ships from La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781481897563

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