In the boulevard before crossing to the front steps, I’m stopped in my tracks and breath. On the porch—the wicker loveseat once your aunt’s, blue shirt, beard newly trimmed—I see you clear as day.
Like the best marriages, the term pietas metrica, employed by the poet-priest Gerard Manley Hopkins, joins the highest expressions of nature and religion. Suzanne Underwood Rhodes’ Flying Yellow: New and Selected Poems further deepens and humanizes this notion, moving from the “pitch-black storms” of girlhood to a “ladder of arms” raising her to an ecstatic Sufi-like whir capturing in word and heart the fruited world around and within her.
This is no self-pitying record of defeat, but a book of rebirth and restoration, a fact suggested by several poems’ titles: “O Forgiveness,” “Therapy Dog,” “The Art of Meditation,” “Battered Victory,” “Stand Up,” “As I Meditate,” “Learning to Glide,” and “Inner Work.” It is a book of candescent triumph.