Uses Of Adversity
"Ronald Wallace adapts the traditional sonnet sequence to the painful evolution of child to adult life and a healing scramble toward maturity. The best of these 100 updated Petrarchan or Italian sonnets (with skillful variations of meter and rhyme) show a capacity to discover meanings of identity and vitimization. A bitter-sweet depiction of coming of age in the 1950-1960s, the first hapf of the book is also a candid case study documenting how father and son cope with 'chaos and misrule and pain.' . . . The second half of the book, when the boy becomes a man, details discoveries of sexuality, marriage, parenthood, teaching, making decisions, 'all the burning things we can't contain.' . . . Even though 'nothing ever seemed quite level or true,' The Uses of Adversity maps a course to a place where memory and the human spirit converge.