In Lucky Life Stern takes the reader on a journey, pausing everywhere from the streets of New York to post-Holocaust Germany to the soil of a lobelia plant. In an intimate and mature voice, he shares with us the lineage of his ancestors; his personal relationships; and bits of art, music, history--even the neighbors he chats with on the beach. His style is Whitmanesque, urging us to "listen a little for the spongy world" after it has rained, and reminding us how to "understand the power of maples."
Reading Stern's poetry is like listening to the words of a loving grandparent who has been through his or her share of painful experiences but has come to terms with them through wisdom gained from a long life. Stern offers several reasons for surviving in this often senseless world, but one of the most outstanding is found in the title poem: "Lucky you can be purified over and over again. / Lucky there is the same cleanliness for everyone."