By Ken Tucker
Updated October 05, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

Time and Materials

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  • Book

The former U.S. poet laureate’s first verse collection in a decade begins with many short poems. (The William Carlos Williamsesque opener of Time and Materials, ”Iowa, January,” runs only two lines: ”In the long winter nights, a farmer’s dreams are narrow/Over and over, he enters the furrow.”) Robert Hass’ compositions tend to grow longer as the book proceeds. The brief ones are elegant and vivid. The lengthier ones, lacking much in the way of meter or metaphor, are prose-y and mostly tedious — alternately earnest (”Bush War”) and silly (”I Am Your Waiter Tonight and My Name Is Dmitri”).

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Time and Materials

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