Like veins and capillaries black
against the evening sky,
Naked winter branches suck
the last hour dry.
As flesh of light diminishes
so fades the blush of day,
Until its colors vanish
‘Those of us who have been fans of Barbara Loots for years knew that the poems in this collection would all “begin in delight,” as Frost famously said poetry should. And so they do, inviting the reader into their space by means of auditory pleasures—rhyme, forthright or subtle; formal meter or non-metrical lines artfully rendered musical; apt but surprising images—all the poet’s tricks—in sonnets, villanelles, sestinas and looser patterns that work, including free verse. But these poems do more than please: they go on to fulfill the second half of the Frost dictum by “ending in wisdom.” Whether her words take us to works of art, an Elvis Presley anniversary, the widower’s kitchen, or the cemetery for nuns, we come away with much more than we brought with us, all of it moving, persuasive and valuable. These are poems to converse with, as with a playful friend who is also mature and clear-eyed.’ –Rhina P. Espaillat
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