From Publishers Weekly
Waldor's deliberate, terse, sometimes wise debut shows how many emotions and situations can grow from one small set of stylistic tools. His short poems in slow, clear, clipped free-verse lines, all of which break on the phrase (the masters failed/ to pass through/ the needles), include lust, frustration, scenes from Jewish history, a lover's generosity in bed, a worshipper's ambivalence towards his God, and a son's respect for his late father. The best poems (sometimes the shortest) bring two or more of these situations together, as in Insurance Man (Waldor's father's profession): Shepherds always/ want a shepherd./ Even the Lord asks. A poem about a tryst (perhaps a honeymoon) concludes by asking Are others like me:/ ruthless and brilliant/ before love, and afterwards/ a lamb? Another standout considers Uriah the Hittite, loyal/ soldier, husband from one standpoint, enemy/ of Israel from another. Waldor's interests are finally less prayerful than familial, humane, and loyal to the good people and the simple delights of this world. (Jan.)
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"Waldor’s spare ironysometimes tender, sometimes bawdydeals in dichotomies: love and hate, frailty and strength, fear and faith. These elliptical and colloquial lyrics draw equally from parable, prayer, and elegy. Hesitating on the threshold between isolation and community, the poet focuses a distortingly accurate microscope on what matters in our lives. "...familial, humane, and loyal to the good people and the simple delights of this world."Publishers Weekly
It’s such a delight when something catches you by surprise and makes you read onand on. So it is with Waldor, a superb lyric, gnomic and Gnostic poet.”Gerald Stern
"The reader must learn to forfeit expectation and simply tune in, like listening to a koan...these poems generously reward the concentration their language demands. Waldor asks us to listen to the noisy world as he hears it, and he opens our ears."Boston Review
"What strange rooms and quirky music Waldor's poems open onto. His vision proves to us that the imaginal and the rational share equal claims on perception. The heart/mind of this work spiritualizes the material and materializes the soul."Li-Young Lee
"Door to a Noisy Room has the darkness, glitter, and hardness of obsidian. In this work, the heat of the passions has cooled to an elemental simplicity. Like obsidian the poems have been polished into jewels or napped to the keenest blade. They are beautiful and they are sharp."Lynn Emanuel