Lewis Turco Critical Essays


Turco, Lewis 1934–

Turco is an American poet, playwright, essayist, and editor. He is noted for his skillful use of traditional poetic constructions, particularly in Awaken, Bells Falling: Poems 1959–1967, and The Inhabitant, which are generally considered his best works. (See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 13-16, rev. ed.)

[Awaken, Bells Falling] is a full and varied book, showing off the range of Turco's talent and the variety of his mind. His view of things is quiet and dark; he accepts rather than affirms, acknowledges rather than celebrates. But the poems have a solidity beyond acceptance, for he knows the music of the day's events and remembers the way the ordinary can often glow and blaze. Whether he writes of a pumpkin, a Christmas tree, the death of a president or an ordinary evening in Cleveland, he writes with compassion and precision. If death too often overshadows life, and pain, life's joys, nevertheless Lewis Turco finds his singing voice in suffering, finds reason to live and love in despair. These are good poems by a poet of a real ability. (p. cxlix)

Virginia Quarterly Review (copyright, 1968, by the Virginia Quarterly Review, The University of Virginia), Vol. 44, No. 4 (Autumn, 1968).