In The Seven Deadly Sins and Other Poems, veteran poet David R. Slavitt touches on topics from the mundane to the mysterious with his signature wit and intelligence. In "Stupid," for instance, he transforms a simple head cold into an appreciation for the richness of consciousness, and in "Waking," the very effort of rising from bed becomes something like a miracle: "I heave myself up to a sitting position, pause / a moment, and am amazed by what I have done...." Slavitt explores the range of the human condition with such ease and insight that readers cannot help but ponder what life is -- and what it could be. What if -- like the mythic sea creature in "The Dogfish" -- humans could return to the womb when frightened? In the collection's title poem, Slavitt gives a voice to the Seven Deadly Sins, each of which claims, persuasively, to possess a value to humans that is seldom noticed or appreciated. Slavitt has a unique ability to examine an idea -- be it virtue or vice, dark or blithe -- and offer perspective and wisdom about the conundrums of our existence.