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Before, During, and After: Poems Paperback – September 16, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (September 16, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 188712893X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887128933
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,620,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Sirowitz’s poems might be the channeled voice of Philip Roth in a state of catatonic dementia. -- Village Voice

These poems map the tangled terrain . . . of the American family—its complex relationships, its twisted fears...sad, disturbing, and funny. -- Details

About the Author

Hal Sirowitz is the author of two books of poems, Mother Said and My Therapist Said. He has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship is a 2003-2004 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow. In 2001, Sirowitz was named Poet Laureate of Queens, New York. His poems have been widely anthologized in collections such as Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems and in Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast. He has performed on MTV’s Spoken Word Unplugged, PBS’s Poetry Heaven, and NPR’s All Things Considered. Garrison Keillor has read Sirowitz’s work on NPR’s Writer’s Almanac. Sirowitz works as a special education teacher for the New York City public schools.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Liebling on May 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you're not familiar with the poetry of Hal Sirowitz, just imagine a Woody Allen of poetry. His poems are invariably short one-sided conversation tidbits, usually a third person berating or critiquing the author. In typical nebbish humor, the speaker-in his last two books, his parents (Mother Said) and his therapist (My Therapist Said)-point out in sharp, clever ways all the fallacies and neuroses of Hal Sirowitz. In his latest book of poems, his exes get their turn.
Divided in chapters of before, during, after, and later (sex, of course, being the theme), the poems chronicle Hal's misadventures in the realm of physical relationships, in a "she said" format. These poems are enjoyable and breezy, but few are as clever or original as his previous works. The payoff of these "she said" poems tend to be dated punchlines that feel more like tired man-woman relationship clichés than anything confessional or insightful: Hal the Everyman is horny, likes to have a lot of sex, doesn't like to cuddle or leave the apartment, and is a commitmentphobe; his exes like to cuddle, have conversations, travel and do things of a nonsexual nature, and be in a committed relationship. Although what makes Sirowitz's poems appealing is that most people can relate to them, this new set, I feel, turns the complexities of relationships into a one-dimensional gag.
Fortunately, Sirowitz is bringing it all back home in his next book, Father Said. Even if it's the same format, and his "father" seems like everyone's father, hopefully it'll be more inspired than the "she said" poems. In any case, you know they'll still be fun to read in the Sirowitz style.
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