"Poetry is the language of a state of crisis."
One of the most important things to say about George Garrett is that his is a generous talent, not limited or confined by a narrow point of view. It is as though he has been searching for the meaning of life in many ways and modes of expression, including novels, short stories, and critical studies, to give only a partial list. And, of course, poetry, always poetry: The Reverend Ghost (1957), The Sleeping Gypsy (1958), Abraham's Knife (1961), For a Bitter Season (1967), Welcome to the Medicine Show (1978), and Luck's Shining Child (1981). The present volume, Days of Our Lives Lie in Fragments: New and Old Poems, 1957-1997, is a judicious selection from these collections and 30 new poems, spanning over 40 years.
Garrett has always been something of an "outsider," refusing to go along with contemporary dogma both literary and political, at the same time that he has been in his amiable way an "insider" with a wide acquaintance among writers, and wishing, one feels, that he could assume the impossible role of peacemaker among the warring factions that distress our times. Consequently, he is a seminal figure reflecting our contemporary restlessness as he searches for...