Prose poems with a lightly poisoned comic bent by the poetry editor of the Paris Review--the man who once wrote ""Funny...

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Prose poems with a lightly poisoned comic bent by the poetry editor of the Paris Review--the man who once wrote ""Funny money, it giggles as it goes."" It is an irksome book, to be blunt, for reasons that have nothing to do with Benedikt's talent or even his approach, but which do reflect on his judgment. In the first place, it seems to us that Benedikt needs the obstruction, if not the challenge, of some kind of form: his associations are fey and arbitrary often enough that we can easily tire of them (""Little Miss Kidney"" indeed!). The trouble is that he gives us nothing further to distract us; he has no problems of the sort that bring out his style and intelligence--which is what his kind of poetry ought to be all about. The uncommittedness that is bedrock to his New York/European poetic extends here to a pervasive cynicism, which, issuing through that boyish smile, can be downright ugly (viz. ""The Cultural Lovers""). It would be easier to take if he were at least able to assert the poems themselves as positive value. Instead he lets us down with a petulant, trivializing effort.

Pub Date: March 1, 1976

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Wesleyan Univ. Press

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1976