THE GARDENER & OTHER POEMS by John Hall Wheelock


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These are poems by a graceful writer and the tone is oddly mixed. There are a few conversational, ""humorous"" poems which attempt to be light and entertaining in a younger idiom and do not quite come off. The bulk of the book, however, consists of long, slow, simple but depthless poems on the feel of being old, with the joy of still seeing stars, woods, oceans, etc., intermingled with a profound, particular sense of times and selves gone, and a complex fear and curiosity about what's to come. Death and time are of course enduring poetic themes- but although these are quiet, not spectacular, poems, there is an intense, personal feeling in them and in the slow, reminiscent language, which makes them very moving. The quality of man's impermanence in his world, of a mind restlessly moving among words, oceans, pasts, for perhaps the last time, shines through this book with dignity, joy and resignation. It is a peaceful- not morbid mind- and above all a human and poetic one, well worth visiting.

Publisher: Scribner