Flawless in its versification, deeply impressive, and perpetually pleasure-giving. I have to say, there isn’t a poem in this book that I can resist, and I know the reader will share my pleasure.
Writing in the ninth decade of his life, Stern’s extended meditation on mortality is luminous and lucid, deeply felt … Over and over I found myself startled and moved by discoveries that the poems enact, by their beauty and depth. This is one of the most rewarding books I’ve read in a long, long time.
On every page of this book, Bert Stern sounds the tragic-comic note of a master. And from this double plane of regard, his poems are as aglitter with gaiety as they are alive to the tears of things.
Bert Stern’s poems are rare vessels of encounter, necessity, and vacancy, splendid visions of a blessed world where life is both given and taken away. Stern finds life and immediacy in birds and leaves, mountains, rivers and mist, and he makes himself available to these objects to the degree where he can say, I am so naked that I have no skin. These are the poems of an aged man who is widely engaged in his world and all it imparts.
What I Got for a Dollar