Robert Frost's ovenbird question was, "What to make of a diminished thing?" This new volume of poetry by Elton Glaser answers that question on a personal level, by broadening the sense of loss and exile until it envelops our common concerns of the twentieth century: the loss of love, faith, civility—all the old verities diminished and distorted.
While the first two sections of the book raise exuberant laments for the domestic, artistic, amatory, and religious life, the third section of poems moves beyond complaint to celebration. The complainer, purged of his grievances, leaves behind a northern exile and moves somewhere closer to home. In these final poems, Glaser returns to the South and his native city of New Orleans. Without nostalgia for the romance of moonlit magnolias, without denial of the region's dark past, he voices a more measured, more settled view of the world, one of balance and hard-won acceptance.