Light as They Found It: Poems

James Seay, Author Quill $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-08932-0
Seay's ( Water Tables ) poetry reflects in its rhythm the movement from observation to recognition. He views cultural artifacts from many perspectives--the canvases of van Gogh, F. Scott Fitzgerald's room, a photo of Elvis--looking for ``signs of ultimate intent . '' Only through such varied perspectives can one determine the way that feelings are comprised by all the images which the senses take in, ``the way the world everywhere we found it / seemed something other than other.'' Instead of brandishing full force the power of the poetic voice to render irresolvable experience, Seay brushes up against that experience like a gentle wind, touching upon cause and effect, tracing time undisturbed, until finally he restates his original sense of things--yet with a deeper understanding of their being. ``I thought of how sometimes we have / to settle for whatever view there is, / though what we believe is the water running clean / with the tide of light reappearing morning after morning.'' When so honestly tentative, Seay is at his best, but many of the poems in this collection are unswayed by self-assessment and therefore remain poetic objects unconnected to the world. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Paperback - 67 pages - 978-0-688-10020-9
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