Title Walt Whitman Bathing: POEMS (Illinois Poetry Series)
Book Condition Very Good
Publisher University of Illinois Press
0252065700 / 9780252065705
Seller ID SKU1008775
0252065700 ~Very Good. No DJ, as issued. Trade Paperback. Light shelf wear to covers/corners; satisfaction guaranteed. Signed 'For Joseph, with all good wishes' by author David Wagoner. Like Whitman and former mentor Theodore Roethke, Wagoner, longtime editor of Poetry Northwest, finds inspiration in American experience and landscape and translates it into stacked, searching clauses: "Above the river, over the broad hillside/ and down the slope in clusters and strewn throngs,/ cross-tangled and intermingled,/ wildflowers are blooming, seemingly all at once." The consistent, pragmatic clarity of perception of this 14th collection (following Through the Forest) ushers us without comment or hestitation into such scenes as "A Woman Photgraphing Holsteins": "One bolts, but stops, having forgotten why./ The dewlap quivers. The veins/ of the udder pulse. As round, as large as her lens,/ The eyes turn to the salt marsh and the sea." Several poems center on American Gothic-era memories (red-nosed cops, trained bears, boys who wear "nightgowns"), images kept from cliche by Wagoner's sure touch. A plainspoken formal virtuosity allows Wagoner to penetrate beneath the surface of such folksy harkings back, as when sketching his parents in three-stress lines: "They stand by the empty car,/ By the open driver's door,/ Waiting. The evening sun/ is glowing like pig-iron." Such tonal effects?authoritative but detached, descriptive yet minimalistic, with ironies never quite articulated?are lasting.