Eric McHenry reviewed Pollitt's The Mind-Body Problem in this week's Sunday Book Review for the New York Times:
“Everywhere I look I see my fate,” Pollitt writes, and she’s not kidding. Studying the ragtag riders on a New York subway at night, she thinks “of Xerxes, how he reviewed his troops / and wept to think that . . . / not one would be alive in a hundred years.” The kitschy collectibles in a schoolyard rummage sale have crossed decades to deliver the message “that we lose even what we never had.” “The Mind-Body Problem,” Pollitt’s second collection of poems (and her first in close to 30 years), is a book consumed not so much with mortality as with transience, of which mortality is one aspect. Another is the way our most casual choices come to define us, a process Pollitt likes to enact by letting casual-seeming analogies take over whole poems. “Death can’t help but look friendly / when all your friends live there,” she writes in “Old,” “while more and more / each day’s like a smoky party / where the music hurts and strangers insist that they know you.” In the poem’s final lines you’re still at that awful party, checking your watch and saying “to no one in particular, / If you don’t mind, I think I’ll go home now.” Pollitt knows how to pace a poem — where it ought to turn, tense and relax. She knows how many specifics she needs to save up in order to afford an abstraction, and how to cinch off a free-verse lyric with pentametrical certainty: “wrapped in white tissue paper, like a torch”; “the silent, bright elms burn themselves away.” A few of the poems feel pat and rhetorical (Pollitt, a longtime columnist for The Nation, is persuasive for a living). But “The Mind-Body Problem” is an affecting and satisfying book.