Selected and Last Poems

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'From beginning to end Paul Zweig's poetry evinces a remarkable authority. Reinforced by an energetic love of words, this authority derives in large part from a rare mix of fear and daring, the daring made convincing through fear. Unflinchingly he fronted reality in its more Medusan aspect, and his work ensued not in stoniness but in a most poignant humanity.' -Theodore Weiss
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Overview

'From beginning to end Paul Zweig's poetry evinces a remarkable authority. Reinforced by an energetic love of words, this authority derives in large part from a rare mix of fear and daring, the daring made convincing through fear. Unflinchingly he fronted reality in its more Medusan aspect, and his work ensued not in stoniness but in a most poignant humanity.' -Theodore Weiss
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The late Zweig ( Against Emptiness) focuses on the inevitable isolation of existence in these consistently visual, carefully modulated narratives. ``We don't talk about the war anymore, / . . . Forgetting the stripped faces, the soup of limbs / Left when the bombs have fallen,'' he writes, deferring to an unquestioned belief in the inherently destructive nature of man. Proceeding with elaborate caution, Zweig defends himself against the anguish this conviction visits upon him by affirming the comforts of the physical world: ``To be alone in the woods . . . / after a long rain has soaked the forest floor, / And the sun has begun its languorous tattoo / Past the chestnut leaves.'' This central dichotomy between the distress of the individual and sensory pleasure is not resolved; Zweig's emotions are inhibited by his certainty that ``the inmost room in our bodies was a grave.'' Ultimately the poems are static, mired in Zweig's fatalism: ``The ice storm caught us unawares / And we froze into busy postures and went on living.'' (Sept.)
Library Journal
This posthumous collection includes poems from Eternity's Woods ( LJ 3/1/85), The Dark Side of the Earth ( LJ 5/15/74), and Against Emptiness ( LJ 3/15/71), adding nine nearly finished pieces written shortly before the poet's death in 1984. Zweig's interiorized, portentous lyrics traversed the moody dreamscapes of the self in a manner not far removed from that of the Deep Imagists of the late 1960s. Though most at home with ``that swarming/ Solitude which is the soul's light,'' Zweig in his later work seemed to be moving outward toward the physical world in an attempt ``To know it all deeply, to know every detail.'' Exuding seriousness that stopped just short of solemnity, Zweig explored his personal darkness with Baudelairean fervor, often leaving a trail of lucent language--as evidenced by this collection.-- Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819511591
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1989
  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 111
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.38 (d)

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