Sandy Solomon

Reviews of Pears, Lake, Sun

"The most notable new American poet to arrive on the scene recently is Sandy Solomon, whose first book, Pears, Lake, Sun, reveals a gift for careful and absorbing descriptions of particular things of a kind to have made William Carlos Williams proud, but also a slow meditative quality that would have appealed to Wallace Stevens.

"A good place to start is the title poem itself, Pears, Lake, Sun, which is published as a kind of epigraph to the book. This means that it is an indication of the spirit of all the good things to come:

Pears on a sunlit ledge, flashes of lake,
how the poised world pressed itself
through the floating surface of that day,
how the manifest made its mark.

On the peeling ledge, pears leaned,
speckled, lopsided, more than yellow--
yellow squared--before an open window
through which flared a nosy, fluent breeze.

"The fluency and apparent ease with which the poem begins to present its subtle theme could not have been achieved without a great deal of careful drafting and re-drafting. And that is so of all the poems in the book, a subtly pleasing, intellectually confident, and technically accomplished collection with wide-ranging themes--from the plight of the political refugee to a still life with irises."

The Economist
March 1997

"Seldom does one discover a first book as strikingly accomplished as Sandy Solomon's Pears, Lake, Sun, winner of the University of Pittsburgh Press' 1995 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. Employing deceptively straightforward surfaces, Solomon negotiates, through a narrative lyric scored with subtle musics and a profound sense of gesture, the complexities of Being, most particularly its collisions with loss and beauty... Pears, Lake, Sun is a powerfully intelligent and moving book with a humaneness that does not shirk from complexity ."

Summer 1997