Zoom Rooms: Poems

Knopf. Mar. 2022. 96p. ISBN 9780593321317. $28. POETRY
It would be challenging to find a poetry collection encompassing a wider range of subjects than Salter’s latest (following The Surveyors). From the mundane (eggs; Ken dolls; jury duty; Scrabble) to the refined (paintings by Carlo Crivelli and John Singer Sargent; Walker Evans’s photography; a mash-up of Robinson Crusoe and The Tempest), Salter enfolds the varied objects of her attention within the lapidary midcentury formalism of polished rhymes and traditional prosody, albeit tempered by the pathos that accompanies age and anticipates the time when “no tip of any tongue,/ will even think of trying/ to call me up from the vast/ data cache of the past:/ the forgotten name is mine”) But Salter’s wit often lightens the mood, as in the timely title poem: “Self-surveilled, your eye contact on-screen/ seems off. Don’t look at people! Focus where/ the tiny camera is that proves you’re there.”
VERDICT Salter’s “fine high language of address and dress” may not appeal to everyone, but those who lament the current dearth of old-school verse will find much to admire here.
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