THE WRECK OF THE THRESHER AND OTHER POEMS by William Meredith

THE WRECK OF THE THRESHER AND OTHER POEMS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

What is minor poetry? asked Eliot once, and then as Reed Whittemore observed, ""with all the solemnity of the Pope said he didn't know"". Had William Meredith's poetry been available at the time, perhaps the answer might not have been in the negative. Meredith's fourth collection is as determinedly ""minor"" as everything else in his canon-and as delightful. He never assays the Big Subject, never speaks ex cathedra; his voice is always recognizably his own; he meets his experiences honestly, engagingly and with economy. And though his sensibility is modern enough there is no sweating and straining for existential effects, nor is his technique cluttered. Every bit of irony, allusiveness, paradox is used sparingly, mostly random reflections on contemporary living, on nature, on the possibilities or impossibilities of the self, on figures out of the past, on lessons learned. The end of one of his best lyrics sums the whole performance up: ""... yet all of a piece and clever/And at some level, true"".

Pub Date: April 10th, 1964
Publisher: nopf