Immortality (Wisconsin Poetry Series)

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Drop the personal, Alan Feldmans best friend advises. But what else does he have? Feldman takes his title from Zhivagos interpretations of the afterlife: Your soul, your immortality, your life in others.
In a collection where the dead do speak, Feldmans poems in his first segment, Self-Portraits, are more likely to be about others than about himself. The segment Partners reflects on marriage and divorce, the latter an uncontested victor over marriage, / the way the flood is champion over the flood plain. In the section Offshore Feldman writes about travel to Uruguay, his impractical love of sailing, and his wonder at Walter Cronkites obtuseness about Vietnam. In his final segment, What Now?, he asks about meaning itself. Babysitting his tiny granddaughter, he thinks of sailinghours of boredom punctuated by moments of terrorand wonders if even this suggests something world-encompassing hes still hoping to find a name for. / If it isnt joy.

Winner of the Mass Book Award for Poetry, Massachusetts Center for the Book

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