Hum Criticism

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Lauterbach's “Hum,” like most of her work, is considered by critics to exhibit a love of abstraction and language that is typical of postmodernism. Lauterbach's language is not difficult; both her words and most of her images are simple. Still, this simplicity belies the highly evolved nature of her work. As the poet James McCorkle wrote in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Lauterbach's poems “explore the most central of lyric and human conditions—eros, mortality, the coil of time, and the material of language.” Other critics, however, have taken issue with her reliance on the tools of the New York School poets. D. H. Tracy, reviewing the collection Hum in the journal Poetry, first notes that the “New York School's approach, with its offhand radicalism . . . has intense appeal,” but he then avers that this type of “urbanity, taken too far, can become absurdity.” Conversely, Shrode Hargis...

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