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Publishers WeeklyHaxton's stripped-down, careful appreciations of flora, fauna and man-made things make him a reliable witness to what life gives and to what life takes away. Haxton's upstate New York locale gives him a good look at the harsh seasons, and at the beauty their procession brings: "berries/ of a bluebeard lily, blue as sapphires,/ blue with frost and poison." Haxton is capable of a fine wit: one poem pays comic homage to comic poet Kenneth Koch by imagining a fight between Rambo and Rimbaud. Usually, though, Haxton (Uproar) remains unadorned, thoughtful and sad. A poem called "Blast at the Attic Window" presents, "Inside a spinning cloud/ of stars, the mind/ in an intricate swirl of ice." Another, one of many about intimacy in advancing age, imagines what happens after "Her High School Flame Retires at 65 and Moves Back into His Childhood Home." It is not all downhill in this collection, nor is everything wintry: an unrhymed sonnet, lovely in its slight archaism, brings Haxton and his wife "Face to Face," as flattering "Sunlight under your eyebrow knits/ the iris into a bronzen veil."
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