In this new collection of poems by Tom Absher, one poem speaks and the next answers until, the reader observes, the entire collection is in dialogue with itself. The stories told reflect the inexplicable drama of how human beings live and die in the world: parents, country at war, a best friend's death at sixteen; as seen through a boy's eyes; then the boy grows up, looks back and the long view reveals to him who he was then and who he is now. The mature poet has much to say of love and forgiveness in these poems of tender regard.
Part reverie, part story, part song, The Paper Rose opens itself from the first page. Beginning with a child's view of World War II, these poems navigate the seen and unseen world. Filled with hard-earned and startling detail, the poems are gorgeous, haunting, unapologetically personal, and unequivocally universal. Tom Absher is a master in full stride, in full voice.
The Paper Rose is the work of an acolyte to the mysteries of worlds those we each touch daily and those that move behind the veils of the ordinary. Tom Absher offers us visions of dragon-breathed war trains, desert silences, the communion of saints and starlight as he turns his ear to the soft pulse of the human heart and his eye to even the smallest details of this world. Listen carefully. These are finely wrought poems in language we too often forget "all of it adagio: This is life and death, do not rush "
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