Variable Star ($13.00 paperback original; Oct.; 84 pp,; 1-55071-087-7): This fourth collection of verse from Sereni (b. 1913), a prominent editor at Mondadori, was published in Italy in 1981, two years before his death, and the work captures the mature reflections of a cosmopolitan modernist firmly in the tradition of Montale. Sereni's premonitions of death, and his fears that others wished him dead, find balance in his fond memories of friends and places: walking the streets of New York, listening to jazz in Toronto, touring Parma with a native poet, and sneaking through the city of his birth, Luino. A veteran of WWII, Sereni feels the weight of modern history and all its horrors, which he lightens with his joy in, among other things, American culture, from Louis Armstrong and Charlie Chaplin to Henry Miller and William Carlos Williams.
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