Philip Schultz has written a strong collection of poems in Living in the Past. Written in four parts, the narrative voice remains constant, exploring the lost world of Jewish Rochester New York in the years following World War II.
Schultz is best at exploring a particular niche of narrative space and then exploiting it, and he does so for the little Rochester neighborhood of Cuba Place. He brings in characters, parades them about, leaves them behind, only to allow them to return later in the book.
His pursuit of the ephemeral nature of time, its passing, and the destruction it brings is relentless. This collection explores an element of poetry as old as human life: things pass away, and never return again.