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Publishers Weekly, 1995-09-25 Pulitzer and Bollingen Poetry Prize winner, Kunitz, at 90, celebrates new and ancient events, global and personal, real and mythic, in language that compels us to share his wonder at the workings of the world. From Apollo 11's flight to Roman gladiators' fights, Pastor Bonhoeffer to his daughter whose first dog was a Pekinese, ``half mandarin, half mini-lion,'' Kunitz's often meticulous narratives and descriptions lead us to a deeper reality. In the lengthy ``The Wellfleet Whale,'' he addresses a 63-foot finback whale that swims ``like a god in exile'' before foundering on the beach: ``You have become like us,/ disgraced and mortal.'' The poet's father, a suicide not long before Kunitz was born, is a vital absence in several poems. As a child young Kunitz found a pastel portrait ``of a long-lipped stranger/with a brave moustache.'' His mother tore it up, then slapped him. ``In my sixty-fourth year/ I can feel my cheek/ still burning.'' In the last new poem, one of nine previously uncollected, he writes, ``Touch me,/ remind me who I am.'' It is what he does for us. (Oct.)
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