SPECTRAL EMANATIONS by John Hollander

SPECTRAL EMANATIONS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Graceful of ear and intelligence, Hollander writes poems you prize instead of need: FabergÉ eggs, fluent and tactful. Descriptions of New York, of art, of architecture are all pithily measured out with Pope-like fineness and craft. A compulsive laminator with a penchant for narrative, Hollander fills center-stage here with a new, long, seven-part prose/poetry conceit of colors, very much in the Harold Bloom-Kabbalist mode. ""When we heed/ Silly fictions--choosing the lead/Above the gold, the chevelure/ Over the brocade--we make our/Moral from the living dullard/ Of daylight, not the gleaming dead/ God."" ""Living dullard"" the daylight may be, but at least it's available, unprivate, as Hollander's ""gleaming dead/ God"" is not. Excuse me, you the gleaming dead God? No? Sorry to disturb you. Excuse me, you the. . . . Poetry this hermetic and self-satisfied used to be a mark of seriousness; more and more it simply seems snotty. Hollander can use an ordinary light-induced imagination very well--see the earlier ""Under Cancer"" here included. Now he prefers his emanations spectral. Pity.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1978
Publisher: Atheneum