LIKE WINGS by Philip Schultz


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What overall vision guides Philip Schultz' first volume of poetry? There is little distinctive about his use of language, most of the poems being written in the subject-verb vein of ""The Stranger in Old Photos"": ""You see him over my Uncle Al's left shoulder/ eating corn at a Sunday picnic & that's him/ behind my parents on a boardwalk in Atlantic City. . . ."" The subject matter of the work stays safely within the realm of places-I-have-known-and-loved, women, and family heritage, which have a tendency to overlap: ""I lift out of the dream of being nowhere in particular/ & stare into the dark. The girl beside me is dark/ from the sun & lies curled on her stomach like a child. . . ."" Schultz is at his best when he turns and speaks to his audience, curtailing his tendency to make associative leaps, as illustrated by some of the shorter, direct poems such as ""Salt Flats"": ""The sky ends where the salt begins. . . the whiteness listens/ like a mirror/ you turn your back to/ in the dark. . . ."" But this remains a rather drab debut without excitement or illumination.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1978
Publisher: Viking