From Kirkus Reviews
paper 0-226-31384-0 The third book by the author of a critical study of Wallace Stevens anticipates critics by admitting its sentimentality and flat, demotic speechof course, the poems that indulge Hallidays delusions of greatness, though meant to be ironic, are closer to his sense of self-importance. Far too many of these colloquial narratives concern Hallidays anxieties about his academic career, and the poetry biz: Loaded Inflections mocks all critics, leaving true judgement only to God and the future; two poems resent other poets who dont sufficiently praise his genius; and The Halls bemoans the indifference of the building where he failed to get tenure. Politics and history occasion much soft thinking about the worlds horrors: I think /of the surplus of human poignancy out there. An earthquake in India (Horrible); a murder in Taipei (Taipei Triangle); a man dying Dublin (After the Rain)all these remind him of his luck in being alive, and result in the bathetic couplet:The poignancy of the human is nearly too much to stand. / The way a small child at a street-corner takes your hand. Elsewhere, Hallidays less circumspect; hes a chatty bopper, like Billy Collins more than Frank OHara. When hes feeling guilty about his failed marriage, we know why: his guyish obsession, in several poems, with bouncing boobs and cheerleaders with skin 21 smooth. Theres something pathological in the swaying between grandeur and abasement, and then theres the simple version: a horny but sensitive regular guy. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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The informal, conversational quality of Halliday's work almost hides its artfulness, which seems to be precisely his intention. -- The New York Times Book Review, Ken Tucker