Publishers Weekly, 2006-08-28 Rector (American Prodigal, 1994) is the founding director of the graduate Writing Seminars at Bennington College and has also worked for the National Endowment for the Arts. His third book in 20 years is mature and confident almost to the point of swaggering. In sometimes prose-like, sometimes musical tercets, Rector spits bile at a culture in decline ("America likes to think// Every one can recover from every thing/ But about this,/ Especially, America is wrong") and recounts his wild hippie days, taking outgrown ideals to task ("It was a moment of solidarity/ Between youth, a thing not so uncommon in those days"). While a few lines are too big for the poems' britches, there are a number of standouts, especially "Now," in which an entire life is cynically, but movingly, compressed into just over four pages: "... a few years/ To play around while being/ Bossed around." The reward is hard-nosed humility and gratitude after surviving failed marriages and nearly terminal cancer, which "gave this to me: being/ Able to sit, comfortably." (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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