Gaps and Verges

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A Nobel Prize-winning chemist and Cornell professor, Hoffmann writes poems fusing a scientist's predilection for precise observation with a poet's lyrical, transformative vision (``Coral outcrops . . . an empress angel fish darts off--reef reflexes meet the finned intruder in this underwater Gaudi cathedral''). Yet the pineal gland, gulls diving for jellyfish and the traumatic infancy of cute-looking koalas do not delimit his poetic concerns. There are searing autobiographical pieces tracing his childhood in Nazi-occupied Poland (he emigrated to the U.S. in 1949) and his relationship with his stepfather in New York. ``In Need of Mending,'' ostensibly about fences, maps the geometry of friendship and hostility. ``Opening a Drawer,'' an apt, humorous meditation on folding shirts, is fundamentally a tender love poem. Despite its share of pretentious or pedantic misfires, this is an impressive collection of serendipitous rewards. (Mar.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813009438
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 2/28/1990
  • Series: Contemporary Poetry Series
  • Pages: 108
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Table of Contents

Evolution 3
Intuition 4
Intravenous 5
Hitchhiking 6
Human, All-Too-Human 8
Svoloch 9
Some Mornings Everything Goes Right 11
Real 12
June 1944 17
Believing 20
Two Fathers 22
Jerry-Built Forever 27
Stretch Marks 31
If I Forget You Jerusalem 35
Bora; Bora-Bora 37
Denizen 40
Opening a Drawer 41
Christmas, or Was It a Birthday 42
Height 43
Caldo 44
In the Way of Speaking 46
Imposing Prospect 47
Conduit 48
Hydropathic 50
The Social Contract 51
Modes of Representation 55
Organic, Inorganic 57
At a Cocktail Party, the 32d National Meeting of the American Vacuum Society 59
Like a Gas Flame Going Out with the Sound of Trying for Life 60
What We Have Learned about the Pineal 62
In Need of Mending 64
Altitudes Change Attitudes 66
These pour Obtenir le Grade de Docteur es-Sciences 68
Be Wanting 70
Somewhere 72
Eschatology 77
Grand Unification 78
The Man for Whom Everything Came Easy 80
Carcinoma 82
Terrorists 83
Longing 84
Corral 85
About the Author 87
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