by Tim Reynolds

Email this review


Mr. Reynold's poems are of three types. The first, lapping up the lion's share, are pieces indebted to or influenced by Williams, Pound, Lowell, Alan Dugan and any of the younger sharpshooters enshrined in representative anthologies like New Poets of England and America. They are sometimes exciting, even risk-taking exercises about birdhouse building or astronauts or meditations on the milkman or fancy sites (Delos, Cadiz) or fancier names (Eisenstein, Heisenberg). The second embrace what are called ""after poems"", after Ronsard, Breton, Homer, etc.; these are first-rate, sturdy in subject matter and striking in form. The last, in which the poet treks out to find himself as himself and succeeds, include The Wave (his best, a marvellously controlled, almost magical work), llagiograph (obscure but powerful), and some lovely hard lyrics. Mr. Reynolds has a penchant not only for poetry-resistant material, but also atonal toughness, idiomatic thrusts, scraggy, spirited lambics blinking with outre words and lots of hyphened nouns and adjectives. Unfortunately, he loves the anti-climax, so much so that most of the time one is left waiting for the other shoe to drop. His revelations and summations almost always out. Elliptical in approach, ambigious in meaning -- yes, that's the modern consciousness, but the art of it, at least, ends with a bang, not a whimper. However, Mr. Reynolds is more than promising; he'd be a poet to bet on if and when he decides to really enter the race.

Pub Date: March 25th, 1964
Publisher: arcourt, Brace & World