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The Intricated Soul: New and Selected Poems
Synopses & Reviews
The Intricated Soul gathers poems from five previous books. Sherod Santos's identity as a poet is based on his courageous resolve to take on the most difficult subjects. Whether writing about love, madness, or genocide, he engages "the most moving truths we can know about our shared humanity" (Washington Post).
Poor white and pining, the full moon coins
Its water-buckled image on a welling tide
That rakes the shingle back across the strand,
A bone-clatter by which fate decides the youngest
Child in a family of nine will be the first to die
(The date marked by an asterisk in the family Bible
That records such things) from illness,
Or an overdose, or a traffic accident.
"At one point in this retrospective, Santos inadvertently describes his own poems as a 'soft susurrus/ of myriad whispered conversations/that after all is said and done/ still keep the painful sum of things.' This collection draws from Santos's five books and includes a significant body of previously unpublished work. Santos is a storyteller, creating vignette-like poems that draw the reader completely into an alien moment. He is unabashedly intimate ('I fear I'm growing less able to answer: Who was she/ whose death now made her a stranger to me?') and often manages to strike the note between anecdote and maxim: 'Was I, / I wondered, spilling over into the world, / or was the world spilling over into me?' The new poems, perhaps written in concert with his recent translation of Greek lyric poetry, draw on the god Pan, Aeneas, and Thucydides to deal with mourning, genocide, and uncertainty. These poems make strong points, but are somehow less compelling than the older ones that confide in us: 'that was the dream,/ that was the beginning, when I got/ out of bed on a warm spring morning/ in the middle of June.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Santos possesses an intensity akin to Rilke."--New York Times Book Review
“Santos possesses an intensity akin to Rilke.”—New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Sherod Santos received the Theodore Roethke Prize for the best book of poetry published in the preceding three years and an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Chicago.
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