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BOA Editions. (American Continuum, Bk. 184). Apr. 2021. 106p. ISBN 9781950774333. $35; pap. ISBN 9781950774258. $17. POETRY
Teicher (winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for The Trembling Answers) has assembled an unusual collection of poetry; he engages both formal and free styles of verse, including two short sonnet sequences, lyric poems, and prose sequences that evoke both diary and aphorism. His subject matter is persistently personal and suburban; few poets have written so candidly about marriage, the approach of middle age, and the complexities of raising children (including a son with cerebral palsy), as well as the presentiments of loss, disappointment, and death that hover over all (“Has it chosen me already, the disease that will kill me?”). Teicher has a remarkable gift for seizing upon and distilling material that should be banal, so that his best poems feel both new and inevitable. In “Marriage Abstract,” he writes, “Arguments taint our mouths like spice. / Opening and closing doors, we rhyme,” and concludes with devastating lines: “You used to be her. I used to be him.”
VERDICT An understated, subtle dissertation on contemporary middle-class life in verse, and a fine introduction to a rising poet.
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