Ranging in form from sonnet to free verse, from meditative to dialog poems, Weathers Permittingexplores the themes of friends, family, and faith. Whether contemplating a joyful holiday or a dying friend, a missing child or house repairs, Stephen Sandy follows the twists and turns of the mind, bringing us to unexpected insights and ever-deepening awareness. Religious faith occupies the core of this tightly focused collection, and poems such as "Stable"—recalling the changes in a family's Christmas ornaments over the years—reveal a reassuring togetherness in the forbidding environment of our time, through lyrical affirmations of celebration among darkening shadows.
Sumptuous diction, vivid detail, and highly wrought lines are hallmarks of Sandy's style. Here they serve to move us toward a fresh appreciation of the intricacies of human relationships.
The projector jumps, the foxes around her neck,
not rabid, are holding on, each biting, glass-eyed,
the other's tail. She clambers to the running board
of the Franklin, smiles at us, steps to the house to make
a start. Cut to the fence, the hollyhocks,
and Roddy the red setter nipping sips
from the sprinkler spurting; harnessed, pulling Mopsie
in the red wagon, wagging for his master, who look
s then catches all of them lolling below the smoke.
In Florida once, he filmed a shambling bear
who danced—who jigs for us still in his grim gear.
Stop by the fencing, child, and slowly meet them,
a world within the world, a garden walk
to take with them to the portiere, the parlor, scent
of humidor unlidded. They pose on the steps
doffing golf caps, and none may read their moving lips.
Stephen Sandy is the author of eleven previous poetry collections, most recently Weathers Permitting and Netsuke Days. He has taught at universities and workshops in Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and has received, among other honors, a residency at the Bellagio Center, a Lannan Senior Fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, a Fulbright Lectureship in Japan, and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Vermont.
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