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"These are poems that offer themselves as gestures of praise, the sort that comes from a sustained and spacious gaze--on the world of insects and animals, on moments both bitter and sublime and the anguish and hope they engender, on the stubborn experience of loss that shadows the findings in our lives. Here, one finds voicings of Rilke as luminous and layered as the originals, seductive and secretive all at once, alongside poems that have grown over the long years where memory and forgetting do their peculiar dance. Here, too, the distinction between poems and prayers seems unneeded, indeed unwanted, and the poet's voice one encounters over this spread of art is as energetic and alluring as those "bees of the invisible" that "mak[e] things whole"--precisely by being utterly themselves. And, when all is said and done, this is a high aim and one well within the reach of Wally Swist, as this collection once again shows. One can only greet this gathering of sparkling poetic gems with gladness and gratitude, and, yes, with an echoing praise."
-- Mark S. Burrows, author most recently of The Chance of Home (2018) and, with Jon M. Sweeney, Meister Eckhart's Book of Secrets: Meditations on Letting Go and Finding True Freedom (2019).
"Love, nature, angels, age--these poems illuminate the important but very subtle issues that give life just the right modest weight it requires. I read them as teaching poems, teaching how to notice signals of meaning before they slip past. I will give these poems to friends who are always looking for a true insight and a worthy observation. Nothing is more satisfying than a poet who can not only work musically and meaningfully with words. . . . Wally Swist's poems will thrill you with their originality and potency."
-- Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul
"In all of his splendid work, over the course of many years, Wally Swist has demonstrated a remarkable ability to use meticulously crafted metonymic details to divine and to define life's principal questions and to reveal them in the graceful arcs of beauty that he finds among the very smallest things of the landscapes he explores and the vistas of the ever-widening horizons that encompass them. The simple becomes the universal in his poems. This collection affirms these essential things. The poems in these pages are deeply imagined and wonderfully crafted "divine cadences" that enable us all to walk together through a world that is both magical and simple, metaphorically rich and yet immediate and tangible and real. This book is a hallmark of a major American poetic voice at its fullest and very finest.
-- Jonas Zdanys, poet in residence, Sacred Heart University