The poems range from a few tight, resonant lines to works of long storytelling drive, from sequences that encompass the most flexible of free verse to an homage to the sestina. Some center on familiar cultural icons (Rembrandt, Houdini, Barnum, the Hardy Boys), others on little-known fringe players in subculture's oddest unlit corners, and yet others on family histories. But always they examine an essential subject: the ways in which we try to "save lives"whether through a transplanted lung, the archeological remnant, the conserved book.
As ever, Goldbarth dazzles, displaying an energetic mind eager to share his arcane learning, oddball musings, and observations of intimate moments, joys, and despairs. A zany wit and a generous sense of humanity reign equally. Saving Lives only enhances this writer's grand signature tradition.
About Albert GoldbarthSee more books from this Author
Hard on the heels of the poetry of Beyond (1998) and Troubled Lovers in History (1999), and almost simultaneous with Many Circles: New and Selected Essays —which follows 1999's Dark Waves and Light Matter: Essays —comes this umpteenth volume of Goldbarth poems.| Read Full Review of SAVING LIVES: POEMS