Robert L. Peters

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 149

Hollis Summers' dominant trait is a quiet clarity. His effects recall the painter Andrew Wyeth's steady melancholy, his whimsical affection for the mundane, and his strong shadows. The Sears Roebuck catalogue, soap stolen from hotels, calories, and a college commencement are among Summers' subjects. Like Wyeth also, Summers allows his...

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Hollis Summers' dominant trait is a quiet clarity. His effects recall the painter Andrew Wyeth's steady melancholy, his whimsical affection for the mundane, and his strong shadows. The Sears Roebuck catalogue, soap stolen from hotels, calories, and a college commencement are among Summers' subjects. Like Wyeth also, Summers allows his forms a full display; their structures glow with vitality. The seven occasions for song he writes of [in Seven Occasions] are: singing for its own sake, discovering one's self in verse, celebrating sex, strengthening a delicate sensibility, venting one's anger and aggressions, warning of coming social and political horrors, and, finally, capturing quiet and containment. Summers' poetry appears to fit the last of his seven "occasions" best. It is mature verse with little experimentation: it satisfies within modest limits. (pp. 365-66)

Robert L. Peters, in Prairie Schooner (© 1965 by University of Nebraska Press; reprinted by permission from Prairie Schooner), Winter, 1965–66.

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