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Perspectives, by Hirsch Lazaar Silverman, Century House Publisher, Nework, 2002, pp. 52, $ 12.95

Perspectives, by Hirsch Lazaar Silverman, Century House Publisher, Nework, 2002, pp. 52, $ 12.95

Perspectives, Dr. Silverman's collection of poems, represents his aim to penetrate the mystery of the world through the language of poetry. "Life Living" reveals some such magnificent lines: "Life is a twisting road With unpredictable fork, And unexpected tomorrow." Silverman employs imagination to unravel the ways and means to live with 'decency', 'modesty', 'dignity', and 'integrity' ("Excelsior").

Several poems in Perspectives reflect the post-modern quest for moral values. "There Dwells" shows Silverman at his best: "There dwells inside the flame Of our prayer a flaming source Which may ignite in one a wonder Of wonders. " Silverman has aptly propounded the value of 'prayer' arising out of the innermost soul which can save us from endless 'dialectic' so that one may "return home eternally In harmonious sacredness." The predominant quality of Perspectives is Silverman's sense of 'sacrednes' and 'obedience' to higher law. The things which most impress him are " humility" and "insight", since life is "significant" ("Logic"). The poet's whole message and philosophy is based on a delicate sensibility inspired by the infinite values and Kant's 'categorical imperative'. "Echoes of Eternity" defines 'the good life' as "An extraordinary harmony Created between tradition And progress." The poem is full of the poet's simple earnestness. Several poems in Perspectives are confessions or prayers: "For I have erred Not out of love of sin; I am most guilty Out of human weakness. " "Reality" pleads for "full life" instead of "long life." In another sublime poem "Pledge" the poet emphasizes "the power of prayer", "ethical values", "human decencies", "human fulfillment", and "ultimate creativity." Silverman's poetry is marked by a delicate and subtle didactic vein in a language that is simple and natural.

Silverman, author of 21 books including ten volumes of poetry, in his Perspectives has raised the question 'how to live', and the question has been resolved by each poem itself. The poems have "high seriousness" and "the weight of meaning." Silverman's morality, the result of the simple lucidity of his mind, enlightens and ennobles human life. "Grand style arises in poetry when a noble nature, poetically gifted, treats with simplicity or severity a serious subject." (Matthew Arnold) Silverman is the master of "grand style."

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