Dance with Desire: Selected Love Poems
`Don't let the title fool you; this is not a book of romantic bric-a-brac, a Valentine's Day gift to be lightly given and lightly forgotten. Irving Layton's career was based on an unflinching attention to everything he could discover about the human character, including its less savoury aspects. In the poems of Dance with Desire chosen from across the span of his long career, Layton styles himself as a 20th-century Catullus, loving and hating with equal glee, given to passionate excesses and epigrammatic precision, utterly unconcerned with sweet nothings or political correctness. Layton is often charged with being too verbose, with having published far too many substandard poems, and having let his verse grow slack as he grew older. These are all valid criticisms, but they don't really apply to Dance with Desire since its very existence depends upon the excesses, embarrassments, and foolishness of the unstifled love that Layton celebrates.'
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To the Girls of My Graduating Class
Thanatos and Eros