If ever there were a tour de force of poetic cravings this is it. What I Got for a Dollar is Bert Stern’s third poetry collection and it’s magnificent. Stern craves deeply, but not shrilly, the cause behind the cause of creation. He makes the basic argument for divinity’s possibility as deftly as Thomas Aquinas ever did. Perhaps better. In fact the somewhat absentminded Deity that Stern conjures up behind his naturalistic images seems eminently likable, albeit dependent on humanity for help in keeping up appearances.
depends on the focus in Stern’s poems. In one poem he considers the micro
world, Blake’s grain of sand. In other contexts the poet ponders over what he
curiously calls “the ordinary.” Occasionally he jumps off the earth’s edge to
commune with more fearsome, macro and fiery powers. Even the political and the
comic are not beyond Stern’s observational attention. Also, throughout the
collection, the poet works in an exquisite commentary on aging. He embeds it in
both his persona’s longings and perceptions. For more of my review go here: http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2018/05/what-i-got-for-dollar-poems-by-bert.html