Long for This World features the best of Ronald Wallace's work from his previous collections of poetry–Plums, Stones, Kisses & Hooks , Tunes for Bears to Dance To, People and Dog in the Sun, The Makings of Happiness, Time's Fancy and The Uses of Adversity–along with a generous selection of twenty-six new poems. If Wallace's recent poems sometimes seem darker and deeper, more meditative and complex, less sanguine about the tragedies of daily life, they never sacrifice the comic sense, the synthesis of technical skill and strong emotion, and the sensory immediacy that have become his hallmarks.
I read Ron Wallace when I want a shot of pure poetry. Wallace's poems have the rare ability to be both surprisingly individual and universal at the same time. They take the meat-and-potatoes of everyday life . . . and make them sing in a way that's both fresh and uplifting.
Wallace's work is often meditative, sometimes comic, and he has an especially nice touch with the sonnet form, but if this book shows anything, it is the impressively wide range of his talents.
Wallace . . . writes poetry in forms with remarkable ease and eloquence: sonnets, ballades, even a pantoum. . . His Midwest roots in no way diminish his cosmopolitan outlook or his universal vision. Wallace's poems are by turns fresh, compassionate, whimsical.
Wallace writes poems that simultaneously entertain and educate, offer wisdom without being pretentious, and elevate humor to philosophical heights.
Ronald Wallace is the author of numerous books of poetry, including, most recently, For a Limited Time Only. He is codirector of the creative writing program, Halls-Bascom Professor of English, and Felix Pollak Professor of Poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.