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the Complete Review
the complete review - poetry

Collected Poems

David Markson

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To purchase Collected Poems

Title: Collected Poems
Author: David Markson
Genre: Poetry
Written: 1952-1993
Length: 89 pages
Availability: Collected Poems - US
Collected Poems - UK
Collected Poems - Canada

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Our Assessment:

B : clever, witty, and often lyrical poems.

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
Publishers Weekly . 9/8/1993 .

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers.

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The complete review's Review:

       Best known for his novel Wittgenstein's Mistress Markson has always put to use a knowing literary playfulness in his work. The estimable Dalkey Archive Press here presents a useful and enjoyable small collection of Markson's poetry, covering several decades of his work. Frequently writing in a now uncommon rigorously formal manner (with metre and rhyme and reason), Markson's poems are nevertheless very light and often very amusing. If anything they remind us of the poetry of Richard Brautigan, though Markson is not quite as pithy.
       His subjects include poets, writers, readers, reviewers, his wife. Almost every one of these short poems merely describes one small scene or event, but he usually phrases it and conveys it well. Of particular note are such poems as See Susan Read, in which he comments with awe on Susan Sontag's unlikely claim that she owns fifteen thousand books and has read all of them (and reads them over and over), Prosody, and two of those in which his daughter figures, cummings and Johanna. Only rarely does Markson strike a sour note, as in the petty Daily Reviewer-Haupt, a dig at the New York Times reviewer.
       It is a very solid, enjoyable collection, marked by its humor. Markson is a writer with a love of language, but he does not wrap himself up in it excessively, leaving his work relatively accessible. We certainly recommend this small book.

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About the Author:

       American author David Markson was born in 1927 and died in 2010.

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