Art is long and life is short. Or is it the other way around? On the evidence of In the Crevice of Time: New and Collected Poems,[1] a 258-page volume that spans sixty years of poetic productivity, both art and life have been long and rewarding for Josephine Jacobsen.

The collected poems of a greatly gifted poet may not offer the suspense of a well-plotted novel, but there is still a certain drama in seeing the arc of a life's work fitted between the covers of one book. To read In the Crevice of Time is akin to watching some frightening or wondrous natural process, say a tree or flower blooming, captured in time-lapse photography—from the first stirrings of a germinal impulse to the rapid movement into individuality, maturity, and inevitable denouement. It's a disturbingly compressed tale of birth, change, growth, and oblivion. So it is with Josephine Jacobsen, who, at eighty-seven, has probably been writing longer...

 
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