Diann Blakely's Reviews > Beautiful False Things: Poems

Beautiful False Things by Irving Feldman
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's review
Apr 20, 2012

Lazarus appears not on TV, but as a Catskills comedian in Irving Feldman’s latest--and 10th--collection of poems. The richness of language and humor, as well as the variations in tone make Feldman’s BEAUTIFUL FALSE THINGS less intellectually stringent but more humanly satisfying than Anne Carson’s MEN IN THE OFF HOURS, which I read and reviewed in the original of this piece, but I've been known to change my mind.

Yet Feldman uses metaphors and references to forms in much the same way as Carson--her TV scripts in GLASS, IRONY, AND GOD, for example, and the "TV Men" sequences in her own 2000 volume--to render his bohemian youth in Greenwich Village: ”We knew we were the whole show and theater:/authors, players, and the audience that counted./And if we preened and played to one another,/we were the world’s own preening to the universe.“ In other words, people fierily illuminated with the best passions shine back to the heavens like bits of starlight dropped to earth, not as flat projections of contemporary media.

(Little did I know that "flat screen TV" would enter the national lexicon, much less have occasion to wonder if the phrase wasn't a perfect example of a tautology?!)

(expanded from a review originally published in the NASHVILLE SCENE)

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