Irving Feldman is a master chronicler of our collective experience and an overlooked treasure of American poetry. Feldman's rich body of work exhibits his mastery of language from the biblical to the conversational, his Yiddish flair for the comic, his profound social insight and lucidity. He writes about everything from the Coney Island days of his childhood
and his bohemian years in postwar New York to the art of Picasso and George Segal, from the Holocaust to its aftermath--in narrative and dramatic poems and personal lyrics that are by turns ardent, witty, biting, ecstatic, and heartbreaking.
Long a favorite among his fellow poets (John Hollander has called his work "amazing in its moral intensity"), Feldman has remained true to the soul's deepest callings:
I have questioned myself aloud
at night in a voice I did not
recognize, hurried and
disobedient, hardly brighter.
What have I kept? Nothing.
Not bread or the bread-word.
What have I offered? Rebel
in the kingdom, my gift
has wanted a grace.
This glorious gathering of poems displays Feldman's entire career in all its variety and passion, and confirms his place among the great poets of our time
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October 18, 2004
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