The 145 short poems in this volume deal with certain problems concerning human relationships that seem particularly frequent in the western industrialized world at the present time. The volume starts with a collection of 117 poems entitled SURFACE TENSION. Monologues in which the author relates his inner states of emotion to events in Nature are alternated with shorter and more lyrical poems. In the first 'movement' the sea is used to symbolize conflicts between men and women in a partnership. In the second movement, the earth is used to symbolize conflicts within an individual over how far he or she should allow intellectual concerns to win out over romantic concerns (or vice versa). In the third movement, air and sky are used to symbolize the states of relative peace (interspersed with moments of storm) that can arise in a relationship between two people with similar ideals. In the second collection, entitled MISCELLANEOUS POEMS, the unifying undercurrent is the poet's interest in how his own romantic conflicts influence the style and form of the individual poems associated with those conflicts.
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