Publishers Weekly, 1988-10-14 In this unusual collection, Pulitzer Prize-winner Kizer translates verse from several languages and juxtaposes works by known and less familiar writers with journals she kept while living in Pakistan. This is a book lush in its varieties of language and writing styles, and it is Kizer's deftness that controls the material, keeping the cultures discrete, while at the same time ensuring that they complement each other, that they ``carry over.'' For the most part, Kizer serves up the poems in ideal proportionshowever, her personal journal entries take up many pages in the middle section. While the diary observations are astute and her comments witty and candid, she includes information that is too intimate to be relevant to the book's intention. Also, there are only two Yiddish poemsmore of these and fewer of the Yugoslavian would balance the whole. Kizer sustains a sense of travel throughoutthe poetry is supple and the exoticism of each society is limpid, and memorable: ``No matter: this remains Lahore, / Oxcarts and tongas, as before, / Jingling along or lumbering back.'' (Nov.)
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