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The Light Holds
Harvey Shapiro

Wesleyan Poetry Series

1984 • 87 pp. 5 1/2 x 8"

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6096-4

A celebrated poet writes on the hidden beauty of American cities.

This is the book of an urban mystic, someone who believes that the streets he walks, the incidents he sees and in which he sometimes plays a part have significance; he understands that the hidden beauty and music of New York City. Madison Avenue, the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park appear and reappear as though they, the poet, and the work were inseparable. The people he recalls – a bag lady, E.E. Cummings – are as familiar to us as the city itself, but here they are lyrical and light, these poems also hold love, loss, melancholy, and tenderness –they reflect the incessant rhythms between a man and his surroundings.

Reviews / Endorsements

“For me, Shapiro is the American urban poet: not only because he is a master of the sketch —a Brooklyn backyard in a line, the grain of a New York day in a phrase—but because he is the voice of my own muteness, the voice . . . of the inward whirlpool. He writes on the lining of our lungs, breathing for us”—Cynthia Ozick

“Harvey Shapiro’s voice is unmistakably of the city yet by virtue of the intensity of his reaction to the city, in his seeking, holding, loving, and longing and bitterness, he distinguishes himself from the chaos often with lyrical poignancy, elsewhere with sardonic wit.”—David Ignatow

Author Photo

A native of Chicago and a graduate of Yale and Columbia Universities, HARVEY SHAPIRO is the author of six books of poetry, including Battle Report (Wesleyan, 1966) and This World (Wesleyan, 1971) and has taught poetry workshops at both his alma maters. For eight years, he war the editor of the New York Times Book Review and is now deputy editor of the New York Time Magazine and Times literary critic.

Tue, 15 May 2018 12:59:30 -0500