From Publishers Weekly
Infidelity, failed marriage, attempted romance, elusive trysts, American Jewish identity and boyhood's lost innocence absorb the attention of the middle-aged, middle-class New York City man whose lightly ironic voice speaks in Lehman's third poetry collection. On the whole, however, the poems stall in facile philosophizing (" 'Sometimes what you thought was an interruption/ Turns out to be your life' "), a too-clever tone and a tired formula of male-female interaction ("His mind was the most masculine part of him./ She told him, hating herself for loving him"). Flashes of rich sardonic insight and occasional biting observations, such as in the poetry-focused "Wedding Song," prevent the collection from sinking under its own weight.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From Library Journal
Lehman's (series editor of Best American Poetry) poems explore the idiosyncrasies of love and marriage, separation and divorce. Many of the poems possess a witty outlook and others push to the extreme of sarcasm; however, Lehman allows us to contribute our own definition of love. These poems reveal how "life is a public event," and we must confess to ourselves as well as to our friends and lovers that "love is a speechless joy/That lasts until it dies." After reading these poems, we realize "there's a shiver of mortality in the air." We should walk away from them, forlorn over our willingness to let down that which is most important. However, Lehman asserts that "ten years later he was still sleeping/With one woman while dreaming of another." Is there justice in keeping a faithful marriage when the resolve to faithfulness has long died? The author examines this question while allowing us to provide the answer. Recommended for poetry collections of larger public libraries.?Tim Gavin, Episcopal Acad., Merion, Pa.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.