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A Collection of Poetry and Art
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The great virtue of coffee-table books is that they can be picked up and read at random for a few moments without any great loss of continuity or sense, and if they are well organized they will succeed as diversions and even generate some interest in their own right. Tymorek (a creative director of the Land’s End catalogue) has put together a handsome volume of some substance but very little heft, including poems by authors as diverse as Yeats, Neruda, Ginsburg, Robert Burns, and Thomas Merton—all illustrated with photos and reproductions of works by Frank Lloyd Wright, Walker Evans, Magritte, Klee, and Rauschenberg. It’s a slick production overall, betraying careful compilation and a surfeit of good taste, but there’s a shallowness about the entire project that decorum, on its own, can—t dispel. There’s no reason, of course, why an anthology can—t be arranged on a theme, and the domestic theme that the editor settles on here is an obviously worthy one in its own right. But a domestic theme still doesn—t have to result in a domestic object, such as this volume gives every indication of being—and intentionally so. The absence of a table of contents, a carelessly thought-out introduction, and a rather haphazard pairing of artist to poet (Thomas Rowlandson for James Laughlin?) result in what looks like a prop—a physical object bearing a resemblance to the nice books that we—ve seen in other people’s homes. A housewarming gift for the under-read.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-8109-3435-3
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1999