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National Cold Storage Company: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan Poetry Series) Paperback – September 15, 1988

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This collection, which consists of new verse as well as selections from Shapiro's previous books, spans over 30 years, and reveals his evolution as artist and observer. An American urban poet with an informal style that is direct and often colloquial, he captures the essence of life in anxiety-ridden, overstimulating New York: "If you walk by the river, Manhattan / is like a book, the pages turn, / the words march down those pages. / Look back to the lights along the river. / Wait for the dark, wait for the city to come on, / windows and bridges blazing, / Whatever you needed was there, wasn't it?" With haunting insistence Shapiro, former editor of the New York Times Book Review , explores his ambivalence, pain and fascination regarding his Jewish lineage, childhood, women and marriage, fatherhood, and mortality: "I was conceived on the night / of my sister's funeral. / . . . This is family history. / What is unclear is my father's role. / Was the night of my sister's funeral / a suitable time for making love? / Did they both think that? / Or was my father excited by my mother's grief? / Though I honor my mother and father, / I want to ask a few more questions." He describes domestic life candidly and with considerable humor and humility, but his words are serious and linger. The length of the poems varies; many are spontaneous snippets of thought, others are longer, carefully crafted and, richer in texture and content, offer more of Shapiro's seasoned insight and tenacity of spirit.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Meticulous and deceptively simple, Shapiro's poems embody craft and concept. Had William Carlos Williams been Jewish, fought in World War II, and later lived in New York City, he might well have written poems like these. Though Shapiro offers a unique exploration of the American Jewish identity, what stands out in this collection are the love poems: "I believe we came together/ Out of ignorance not love." Shapiro's career in publishing (including editorship of The New York Times Book Review from 1975 to 1983) has overshadowed his poetry, but one comes away from this collection wishing it had included a larger selection and recalling how excellent Shapiro's poems can be.Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor "Soho Weekly News," New York
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
  • Paperback: 103 pages
  • Publisher: Wesleyan; 1st edition (September 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819511536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819511539
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,630,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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