THE MYSTERY OF METEORS by Eleanor Lerman

THE MYSTERY OF METEORS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Most readers will be unfamiliar with Lerman’s poems—over 25 years have passed since her last collection was published—but this volume promises to win over many new fans and gratify older ones. Movement is important to her: the lines are long and relaxed, and she eschews periods when the ends of lines and sentences coincide, thus increasing the velocity of the poems, which are set in such locales as New York City, Cape Cod, California, Florida, Paris, and Montreal, to name just a few. “Too many airports, too many taxis / thirty dollars to travel through the vapor glow at / light speed, / to hunker down and buckle up, to do this one / more time.” Her focus extends from a 7-Eleven in Hopelawn, New Jersey, to the outer reaches of the cosmos, and she personalizes her subjects without being intrusive or self-aggrandizing: “I remember the day I read about the Very Large Array: / I felt like I could breathe again.” While Lerman is drawn to science and technology, she also grapples with the existential crises our knowledge of the world can induce, all the while seeking to “understand the structure that / may exist where there appears to be no structure, where / forces are turbulent and disordered and running at a / fever pitch.” The wonderful “Missing Time” treats alien abductions with the same empathy and gentle humor that she affords everything from physics to psychic phenomena—in “Tamiami/My Past Lives” she confesses that if she held a séance “the most interesting thing / the spirits would report is that I once lived in a forest / with a relative who had a talent for hunting truffles.”

An amusing and wise collection—and a welcome return.

Pub Date: July 15th, 2001
ISBN: 1-889330-54-X
Page count: 72pp
Publisher: Sarabande
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2001




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