THE COLLECTED POEMS OF JAMES T. FARRELL by James T. Farrell

THE COLLECTED POEMS OF JAMES T. FARRELL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Novelist Farrell's collected poems are few but a handful of them succeed quite well, especially with the sadness of lost time. His youthful blooms are grey little forget-me-quicks in free verse, drab nosegays of Chicago. They read like an Irish rebel who has discovered Carl Sandburg but doesn't understand Sandburg's concrete detail. His imagistic realism is love in a graveyard. In fact Farrell is seldom out of the graveyard and his best poems are epitaphs both for himself and for some of his fictional characters. We thought ""Willie Collins speaking"" and ""Stars came out at night"" to be strong poems worth pointing out. Also, there are isolated stanzas and lines of considerable beauty. Nonetheless, it must be admitted that the theme of weariness in the face of time occurs just too often, and is too often couched in large rhetorical generalities. Perhaps the most moving line in the collection is from ""My obituary"": ""He willed his dust to the public domain.

Publisher: Fleet