Poetry is not only the most sublimely difficult but the most deeply personal of all word-arts. Close to being a spiritual autbiography, this collection mostly strives to express what lies beyond the reach of language. Previous readers have suggested similarities to Neruda, Paz, Rumi, William Blake, Rilke, and Rimbaud.
"Poetry," a friend once wrote, "leads us past the indescribable and submerges us in the experience."
Just as the mountaintop has a natural affinity for the sky it cannot touch, so poetry, as the highest form of word-art, has a natural affinity for that which is beyond words: beauty, horror, love, the sacred, and so on.
Poetry improves with age and repeated appreciation, like a fine wine or a well-made violin: the more one reads a good poem the more insight it provides to the reader; indeed, more than any other word-art, it draws us back repeatedly to read it, to read it aloud, to linger yet again before its beauty and marvel at its wisdom.
And, finally, as someone (it might have been me) said, "Poetry is the art of breaking words across the silence without disturbing it."
Good poetry - unlike prose, which tends to revel in its own loquacity - economizes to the point that what little is said does not describe, as does prose, but points to, just as a finger points at the moon; ... for silence is as asymptotically close as we humans can get to the perfect truth.
from the Preface
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About the Author
James David Audlin is an American author living in Panama, after previously living in France.
A retired pastor, college professor, and newspaper opinion page editor, he is best known as the author of "The Circle of Life".
He has written about a dozen novels, several full-length plays, several books of stories, a book of essays, a book of poetry, and a book about his adventures in Panama.
Fluent in several languages, he has translated his novel "Rats Live on no Evil Star" into French ("Palindrome") and Spanish ("Palíndromo").
He also is a professional musician who composes, sings, and plays several instruments, though not usually at the same time.
He is married to a Panamanian lady who doesn't read English and so is blissfully ignorant about his weirdly strange books. However his adult daughter and son, who live in Vermont, USA, are aware, and are wary, when a new book comes out.