ERIC Number: ED336761
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Voice and Vision in Paul Zimmer's "The Great Bird of Love."
Worsham, Fabian Clements
Paul Zimmer's latest poetry collection, "The Great Bird of Love," is serious and somber, fraught with the burden of evil, the indifference of God, and the certainty of death. The book is not humorless, however, as humor is central to both the chaotic evil and the ordered goodness of human life. It is in this collection that it is possible to see Zimmer's lyric voice and his persona as dual aspects of a single personality. In all sections of the book, the Zimmer-persona poems are interwoven with the lyric-Zimmer poems, revealing the ways the two voices respond to certain events in the poet's life, such as the end of World War II and the deaths of his parents. Readers and students of Zimmer's poetry will become aware that distinctions between "light" and "serious" poetry do not hold, and that absurd, calculated inappropriateness can create humor. In addition, imagery serves a double function as the reader/student can appreciate the inventiveness and wit while being horrified by the deeper reality. The comic is no relief, but is the agent of discomfort--humor and fascination yield to horror. It seems that the characters come to recognize the inclusive and unfathomable magnitude of God, and the dark side of the deity. Where one character puts his trust in God, Zimmer places his trust in love, and dreams of becoming (through the human capacities of love and imagination) a credible redeemer or hero. (PRA)
Publication Type: Book/Product Reviews; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Great Bird of Love; Voice (Rhetoric)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College English Association (San Antonio, TX, April 18-20, 1991).