The Courtesy

Series: Phoenix Poets

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In this, his first book, Alan Shapiro vividly recreates some of the more memorable and poignant moments from his Jewish-American childhood, and in the process reveals his compassionate interest in the forgotten, the alienated, and the infirm. The Courtesy is an intelligent, reflective examination of the poet's own psychological history. The Courtesy is really an admirable book: it shows up the unreality of a lot of the other poetry one reads, dealing honestly and with that perversity which is a sign of thoughfulness, with the slight but heavy matter of our everyday defeats. --Michael Hoffman, Poetry Nation Review