With an astonishing command of nature imagery, from sparrows to mastodons, Philip Appleman can deftly weave into a single poem an intricate pattern of ideas drawn from evolution, humanism, anthropology, religious skepticism, and everyday experience. Appealing to reason as well as to emotion and imagination, he writes poems of lyrical intensity and remarkable narrative depth. He creates characters—Eve or Darwin or a failed priest—with such wit, compassion, and subtle humor that they live on the page and surprise us with new insights into joy and sorrow, life and death. Set on the beach at Malibu, in the port of Trieste, or in a Manhattan subway, his poems evoke genuine feeling with out sentimentality and transform the personal into the universal.
Drawn from six previous books of poetry written over four decades, and with fourteen new poems, this collection shows the power and complexity of Appleman’s wide-ranging talent.