In these carefully-wrought elegies, Maxwell King writes of nature and family. By turns mournful and celebratory, the poems present a man who knows himself and his world.
Max King has had a remarkable career, but his poems reflect neither arrogance nor any form of self-satisfaction. Rather, they reflect a tender appreciation for the natural world and for the consolations of aging, shared affection, and various material and spiritual comforts. He is not a major poet nor does he pretend to be more than he is—an observer with an amateur poet’s keen eye for what matters most. He writes of having almost died. (I think in fact that he did die and then was revived.) And he has a tone of gratefulness akin to Raymond Carver’s late poems. These poems are grateful and appreciative but not sentimental nor trite—and that is not easy to do. This is a short unpretentious chapbook with appropriate scale and ambition—nicely done.