3 by Theodore Weiss

A Slow Fuse
Copyright 1984
Checked out 3 times in 27 years
Last checked out 5 years ago

From Princeton One Autumn Afternoon
Copyright 1987
Checked out 1 time in 24 years
Last checked out 23 years ago

The lack of circulation says it all for these two volumes by Theodore Weiss. His work belongs in an academic library or in a larger city library. Here, his lack of rhyme and his subjects of contemplation, influenced by many years in a scholarly setting, are unlikely to appeal to the average library patron. Though Weiss is highly regarded, he is not a good fit for our community. I recommend letting these two books go.

And now, three months after picking up the books above, miscataloged under 811.5, I find another Weiss book of poetry:

The Last Day and the First
Copyright 1968
Checked out 11 times in 43 years
Last checked out 13 years ago (put penultimate return date 35 years ago)

Maybe this is the book that started it all. It had excellent circulation through the mid 70s. Perhaps that’s what prompted the purchasing of more books by Weiss. However, whoever was reading this–or whatever was spurring people to go in search of Weiss’s poetry (appearance of a poem in a high school anthology?)–the winds changed abruptly after 1976. I’m going to stick by my original assessment. He’s too academic to be successful here. Let them all go.


About jppoetryreader

Poetry reviewer and poetry consultant for libraries
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