THE QUARRY by Richard berhart


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Like the title of one of his earlier volumes, Song and Idea, Eberhart is both lyrical and philosophical, delighting in multiple emotions, dazzling with many-figured images in a tone at once tender and tough. This dual-sidedness exists in all his work, including this current collection, and it seems to shape not only the performance but also the critical response to it, i.e., when Eberhart is good he is sometimes great, and when he is bad he's a mess. Here poems like Rainscapes, or the three dramatic monologues, or the two Meditations- fluent, fresh, superbly cadenced and enormously convincing- are set like gold amidst dross, such as the philandering cerebral charades -- The Kite or Four Exposures: Light Meter. Hitting 60, Eberhart, who has always been something of an Embattled Romanticist and/or Mystic, appears to be steering away from the darker irresolutions towards light and the virtues of oyalty and loveliness. ""I began on nonsense and I end on sense"", says Eberhart.... ""I sing the harmony of the instant of knowing/When all things dual become a unity"". It is certainly not too much to say he is one of our best poets, and should his best ever be collected undoubtedly it would prove a singular literary event.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1964
Publisher: Oxford