Wallace’s poems cover the range of human experience: music, religion, sex, art, childhood, adolescence, nuclear war, illness, and death. But it’s in his wit and good humor, against undercurrents of sorrow and grief that best characterize his poetry: part Emily Dickinson, and part Harpo Marx; part Woody Allen, and part Robert Frost.
Ronald Wallace is the author of numerous books of poetry, including, most recently, For a Limited Time Only. He is codirector of the creative writing program, Halls-Bascom Professor of English, and Felix Pollak Professor of Poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“Being has ‘no unbearable lightness’ here. The poems are fat (a recurring word) with memory, love, humor (don’t miss the poem about poetry, ‘Building an Outhouse’), the world (the poet’s parents, wife, children, the goats, chickens, cats, frogs, fox). And there are many nourishing servings of sound and sense, all, as in the huge “The Fat of the Land,’ a feast set against ‘the noncaloric dark.’ And yes, there are, during this picnic of a book, times when lightning strikes and the hair rises.”—Mona Van Duyn
“What a fine, true poet Wallace is! I recognize so much here with delight and am grateful to have it said at last.”—May Sarton
“Again we have what we have come to expect with pleasure from Ronald Wallace: wit, intelligence, originality, and a growing and deepening insight into the mysteries of daily life.”—David Wagoner