When I Was a Poet
Pocket Poets Number 60
Big Bridge 16
". . . When I Was A Poet, is a masterpiece, every line is exactly where it needs to be. After fifty years of practice this manuscript reflects a master at his zenith."
"For Meltzer, the experience of being a poet is inextricable from the experience of the body in a way that is simultaneously physical and spiritual." -- Julie Babcock
"Meltzer is a prolific poet of many modes and voices, quite a few of which are here, love poems, poems out of childhood, a series of "amulets," cryptic short wisdom poems, and much more. These are all tasty, often ironic and/or mysterious, pieces of Davidness to be savored . . . "--Richard Silberg, Poetry Flash
"This collection presents a strong display of Meltzer's graceful force as a lyric poet. David is at his best when he’s just riffing about writing, getting the language to come together in his head: skull-brain, eyes, nose, mouth, and finally, tongue. The whole messy bag of flesh which it takes to arrive at the poem: 'My blood mixes with plaster / sealing the poem together.' It’s a messy, vital business that gathers together all the experience any one of us is made of; everything and everybody that contributes to our individual shot at being the one composed of many which we are."--Patrick James Dunagan, HTML Giant
"Meltzer's work has always been quirky, lyrical, and fresh with a self-respect that jumps right off the page and invites readers into the delight of expression."
The San Francisco Chronicle
"An erudite man with interests that range from Jewish mysticism to jazz, Meltzer is anything but bookish. He writes quick, wry poetry, embedded with wisdom, his short lines delivered in a dancing street vernacular that gathers force as it uncovers fresh discoveries."