The Great Bird Of Love
Although he employs the device of dropping his surname in many poem titles, Zimmer avoids the wholly egocentric in this volume, selected by William Stafford for the National Poetry Series. A sense of humility is also manifest that confirms his acknowledgement of and surrender to matters he cannot control or know. And an appreciation for humor and play buoys the poems, making clear his respect for levity. Uncomplicated and unmetered in structure, his verse speaks directly and informally to nature, his family, historical figures, daily details and, of course, himself. Zimmer falters when he waxes sentimental–about his dying father, the “origins of love,” what the world would be like if poets went on strike. Once accustomed to Zimmer’s pulse there is refreshing brightness and optimism to be gleaned from these works, an infectious energy: “I want to become a great night bird / Called The Zimmer, grow intricate gears / And tendons, brace my wings on updrafts.” Author of five books of poems, Zimmer directs the University of Iowa Press.