Heroic Measures

Heroic Measures

by David Bergman
     
 

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David Bergman's new collection, Heroic Measures, opens with a section of poems that speak directly of male relationships and desire. A second grouping depicts images of art, giving us glimpses of Goya, Eakins, Mozart, and Mapplethorpe. Other poems provide an enlightening journey into religion and myth. In the final section, Bergman turns to his family, with poems

Overview

David Bergman's new collection, Heroic Measures, opens with a section of poems that speak directly of male relationships and desire. A second grouping depicts images of art, giving us glimpses of Goya, Eakins, Mozart, and Mapplethorpe. Other poems provide an enlightening journey into religion and myth. In the final section, Bergman turns to his family, with poems about his parents, their aging, and his childhood. The result of this structure is to show the course of a life as a progression backward and forward, the journeying, the false starts and successes of the pursuit of love and the practice of art set against the dangers and strictures of the past and present.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Towson State English professor and editor of numerous anthologies of gay fiction, Bergman (Cracking the Code) relies on his superb knowledge of traditional prosody in the various forms he so purposefully explores in this, his second collection. The short dialogue between Death and a beautiful Young Man, which opens the volume, sets the elegiac tone for a dozen or so graceful poems about AIDSþfrom a witty portrait of a wild transvestite who died by accident, unlike his co-workers at the hair salon, each dead by disease, to a narrative about taking part in a clinical study of HIV. þDays of the 1970sþ tells the history of the decade simply by its clever rhymes: þAIDS,þ þescapades,þ þparades,þ and þraids.þ Cats figure in poems about desertion by a lover and about memory of a friend recently dead. Bergmanþs þtransgressionsþ against þentropyþ include smart lyrics about grubs at night, planting a garden, a mockingbird that sounds like a car alarm, and a group of poems inspired by art and travel. A skilled narrative artist, Bergman tells the chilling tale of a psychic, consulted by the police, who realizes that a missing boy was killed by his mother, and he also captures the voice of a female primatologist who prefers her monkeys to men. Poems about his aging father, including the wonderful title piece, combine Bergmanþs campy charms with his expressive clarity: While his father asks that no þheroic measuresþ be taken to sustain his life, his son preserves that life quite elegantly in his own strong measures.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814207833
Publisher:
Ohio State University Press
Publication date:
05/28/1998
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 8.84(h) x 0.57(d)

What People are saying about this

Mark Doty
"Here's the voice of Mozart's cnanary, a psychic in crisis, a naturalist stunned by another species more beautiful -- and more human? -- than our own. Here are poems of friendhsip and travel, the ravages of the epidemic, love and fear for aging parents, an elegy for the handsomest of hairdressers. David Bergman's compassionate book gives shape to the occasions of a life." -- Author of My Alexandria: Poems

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