Contemporary Poets by Thomas Riggs

By Thomas Riggs

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What each says, returning after death, expresses more about the American psyche than about the real figures, and Ai intends it this way. Her speakers include Mary Jo Kopechne, J. Edgar Hoover, Jack Ruby, Jimmy Hoffa, James Dean, Elvis Presley, and Alfred Hitchcock. Characters include both the anointed famous and recipients of Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame, such as the possible rape victim and certain victim of media penetration in ‘‘Evidence from a Reporter’s Notebook,’’ from Fate: Six straight days, she’s front-page news She makes guest appearances by the dozen Everybody’s cousin wants their piece of tender meat .

Often . . ’’ Certainly her work both startles and amuses. Without sacrificing any of its delightful, acerbic humor, with time Adcock’s poetry has also become more compassionate. Time-Zones, Adcock’s 1991 collection, is an array of sensitive and intelligent responses to events both small and enormous. In one poem she mourns her father’s death and in another witnesses the devastation of the plant by the greenhouse effect. Her flourish is for noticing the link between the domestic and the international, as in ‘‘Libya’’: When the Americans were bombing Libya (that time when it looked as if this was it at last, the match in the petrol-tank which will flare sooner or later, and the whole lot was about to go up) Gregory turned on the television during dinner and Elizabeth asked the children to be quiet .

Especially on a clear day’’ and moves by various imagistic associations from New York City to Tucson, New Delhi, and Bangladesh. From the contents of The Country without a Post Office, Ali could be taken to be the national poet of a future independent Kashmir. He would probably deny a nationalistic intent, however, CONTEMPORARY POETS, 7th EDITION ALVAREZ and claim to be a humanist concerned with universal justice, which explains his references to Sarajevo, Armenia, and even a Norwegian hostage killed by Kashmiri militants.

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