Seamus Cooney (review date 1 November 1973)
SOURCE: A review of Living at the Movies, in Library Journal, Vol. 11, No. 19, November 1, 1973, p. 3270.
[In the following brief review, Cooney faults Carroll's poetry in Living at the Movies.]
These imitative poems range in models from the portentous pseudo-reference of John Ashbery to the flat trivialities of Ted Berrigan—the whole gamut from A to B, in fact. Not one moves or delights, and as for teaching—well, the outlook on life conveyed is the shallowest hedonism based on dope or sex. A piece entitled “A Fragment” has more point than many in the book and shows fairly the pretensions to seriousness, the inertness of rhythm and language, and the utter banality of effect: “When I see a rabbit / crushed by a moving van / I have dreams of maniac computers / miscalculating serious items / pertinent to our lives.” Don’t miscalculate: avoid this book.