ROOTED IN SILENCE by Richard Schramm


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A short book of rather beautiful but somewhat vacuous poems that move with an incredible grace which seems rooted in syllabics, but isn't -- perhaps the greatest surprise being that poems of such self-conscious merit (the author describes ""where a western consciousness yields to an eastern"") bother to say anything at all. The images are often striking (""carry the sun again/ on my eyelid""); musically the poems are filled with the subtler varieties of alliteration, assonance, and demi-rhyme; the apparently ordinary breaks between the lines of the almost identically-patterned stanzas interact with ""sense"" in a way that consistently stuns the reader; but all these good (if somewhat cerebral) things are marred by the presence of the author's somewhat over-literary devices such as word-invention (""water-strider"") and archaic language (""bracken""), the most successful of these being the conversions of nouns into adjectives, or verbs. The poems, many of which are reprinted from the more prestigious ""little magazines,"" are divided into two sections corresponding to the author's life lived in India and the United States, and are about the usual topics: parents, leaving one's home, death, love, and so on, with an emphasis on the great outdoors and the somewhat non-western desire to perceive rather than manipulate.

Pub Date: March 10th, 1972
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill