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View Criticism

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By the time “View” was published in Bell's collection Rampant, the author was recognized as one of America's foremost poets, having built a distinguished career over the course of forty years of publication. Reviewers generally greeted this book, his first collection of new works since his signature “Dead Man” series, with enthusiasm. A reviewer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer lauded Rampant as “a lucid and affecting collection of real world poems, often enlivened by wisdom and humor.” Publishers Weekly quoted extensively from “View” in its short review, illustrating the point that “Bell's speaker looks at the world as if through a microscope . . . and the truths he extracts and extrapolates are cynical.” Further, the reviewer notes, “Bell's empathy for inanimate objects can be disingenuous, but it is also often felicitous and funny.”

James Parker, writing about Rampant in the New York Times Book Review, calls the work an “excellent new...

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