Cover image for The light as they found it : poems
The light as they found it : poems
Seay, James L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Quill, 1990.
Physical Description:
67 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3569.E24 L53 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Seay's ( Water Tables ) poetry reflects in its rhythm the movement from observation to recognition. He views cultural artifacts from many perspectives--the canvases of van Gogh, F. Scott Fitzgerald's room, a photo of Elvis--looking for ``signs of ultimate intent . '' Only through such varied perspectives can one determine the way that feelings are comprised by all the images which the senses take in, ``the way the world everywhere we found it / seemed something other than other.'' Instead of brandishing full force the power of the poetic voice to render irresolvable experience, Seay brushes up against that experience like a gentle wind, touching upon cause and effect, tracing time undisturbed, until finally he restates his original sense of things--yet with a deeper understanding of their being. ``I thought of how sometimes we have / to settle for whatever view there is, / though what we believe is the water running clean / with the tide of light reappearing morning after morning.'' When so honestly tentative, Seay is at his best, but many of the poems in this collection are unswayed by self-assessment and therefore remain poetic objects unconnected to the world. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In 19 well-crafted poems, Seay ( Let Not Your Heart, LJ 3/15/70; Water Tables, LJ 1/15/74), director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, explores the ways light alters and is altered by ``the memory/ we've made of feeling.'' Personal experiences--almost being run over by a cabin cruiser, touching a stone doorstep carved by Thomas Wolfe's father, listening to Chuck Berry's ``Johnny B. Goode''--occasion lyrical appraisals of how the eye discovers ``a way of understanding the lights/ burning their codes through darkness.'' The ``light as they found it''--in Van Gogh's ``great starry night,'' his father's photographs from overseas in World War II, or a postcard view of Zelda Fitzgerald's hospital--is testimony to a grace of poetic seeing that, like this elegant poetry, takes on ``what Santayana says of the beautiful.''-- Frank Allen, Regents Coll., Albany, N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.