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THIS WORLD by Harvey Shapiro



Pub Date: March 25th, 1971
Publisher: Wesleyan Univ. Press

Mr. Shapiro's third book and probably the strongest and wisest. The themes are more personal, the poems tighter, firmer, increasingly lyrical: ""This summer, like a jungle,/ I dream in a confusion of chairs/ as love over the ancient city/ Flares like an angel's eye"" (""By the Woman's House of Detention""). With ""Glory"" comes an earthy amusement: ""In the museum of antiquities/ I ran my hand over/ The breasts and thighs/ of the young Aphrodite/ And heard her say/ Kiss my ass."" There are occasional lapses into mundane language (as in the last section of ""Working It Out"") along with a mildly annoying tendency to talk about writing poems instead of writing them. But ""Field Mice"" is so delicately wrought that it could be woven into a cloth and hung on some brick wall. Insinuating though uneven.