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Dunn, Stephen, Local visitations; poems.

DUNN, Stephen, Local visitations; poems. Norton. 96p. c2003. 0-393-32603-9. $12.95. SA

In this collection of poems, Pulitzer Prizewinner Stephen Dunn displays a keen awareness of the inner state of modern man as he tries to make sense of the world around him. Dunn's language is concise and to the point, as if to direct our attention to his relevant and strong insights into American life around which many of his poems are centered. In the poem "A New Year," for example, Dunn writes: "It's time to resolve / to do something about which / we have little to resolve, time to dance / and forget in order to dance again." The succession of poems in which Dunn imagines the great writers of the 19th century alive and well in 21st-century New Jersey adds a fresh and witty touch to the collection and will undoubtedly appeal to any student of literature. In the poem "Poe in Margate," Dunn begins by cleverly writing: "To come back and learn his alcoholism / was an illness--Poe had to laugh at that." Dunn's tone turns more serious, however, when he says of Poe at the poem's close: "his narrators needed / everything that was rational in him all of the time." It is this mix of literary wit and sobering, human truths that makes Dunn so readable and ultimately important. Beth Lizardo, College Student, NY

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

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Author:Lizardo, Beth
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Mar 1, 2005
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