BEARINGS by Jack Marshall


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Jack Marshall is one of many interesting contemporary poets strongly influenced by surrealism--not so much the surrealism of the French (though some of Marshall's cadences are clearly borrowed from Andre Breton) as the less ""literary,"" more passionate surrealism of Spanish and Latin American poets like Lorca and Neruda. In Marshall's poetry, violent and frequently inchoate feeling reigns supreme. Image tumbles over image in an escalating rhetoric of strong emotions. At his best, Marshall with seeming effortlessness projects a crackling charge of irrational energy. But Marshall is pretty rarely at his best--too often he degenerates into a sort of artifical rant that deadens rather than stirs. And when he attempts to write in a minor key, as in the love poems and reminiscences, his performance becomes nerveless and flaccid. . . . A gifted poet in an uneven collection.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Harper & Row