WHAT THOU LOVEST WELL, REMAINS AMERICAN by Richard Hugo

WHAT THOU LOVEST WELL, REMAINS AMERICAN

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

There are minor poets and then there are minor poets--Richard Hugo is one of those who deserve a larger audience. His snapshots of the bleak and shabby death-trip of The Great Plains are shockingly recognizable. His tone is matter-of-fact and melancholic confessional at once. For his ignorant farmers, for the members of the Ladies' Auxiliary, for the 4-H girls, for the speaker himself--these sad, sad poems stir up compassion for the ""shame"" of wasted lives. ""Cruelty and rain can be expected"" in this comer of the world. Surveying the salt-colored landscape dotted with horses and barns, this dispossessed son feels ""I own this and I know it is not mine."" It's that succinctness--the poet's ambition to be pure in his despair--that make these accounts of self-hatred and mocking insult unceasingly effective as a twist of the knife in our wounds.

Pub Date: May 27th, 1975
ISBN: 0393044173
Publisher: Norton