This collection consists of about 55 poems, mostly of the short-form free verse variety. The author passed away between completion and publication of the volume. He was that rarest of creatures, a rich poet. (Though he was not an impossible creature – i.e. he didn’t become a billionaire by writing poetry. It was his side gig between trading in commodities.)
One of the poems toward the end of the book, “How to keep from being devoured,” changed my attitude toward the book. Up until that poem, I found the collection to be just okay. It was alright, but didn’t feel like anything special. However, that one poem made its mark on me, and I suspect other readers will find their own favorites among the collection. The poems are finely crafted. The fact that this one short volume is billed as the man’s “lifetime work” suggests that he focused on quality rather than quantity of verse.
I found a gem among a body well-composed poetic works, and I’m pleased I took the time to read this collection.