Who I am Reading: Floyd Skloot

I picked a book off the shelves at Barnes and Noble: Selected Poems: 1970-2005, by Floyd Skloot.

I never heard of the poet, but I liked the cover design (subdued columns of light and dark blue). Then I read a few poems and felt the top of my head coming off.

Here are a few lines from the beginning and end of one poem that particularly speaks to me. The title is “Starry Night.” The poem flows out of Van Gogh’s painting.

“Tonight the moon throbs with light

it seizes from stars as they rise

and the cypress grows holy

before my eyes. Wind fills the sky.


Think of the instant swallows

rising above a field you enter

suddenly loop back in unison-

a thick landscape of faith

that is beyond words, yet explains

why I am standing here at all.”

I love the imagery. Both intensely concrete and suggestive. He moves easily from the physical to the metaphysical. I love the way he uses sound and rhythm, internal rhymes that work without calling attention to the artistry of it all. The poem ends with an image that points beyond language to faith that is even pre-verbal, an intuitive grasp of something larger than words. It resonates with my experience of faith.

This is not a book of religious poetry. Perhaps one of the reasons that I find it so powerful is that Skloot can speak of the sacred without becoming explicitly religious. No easy thing!

I just wanted to share someone I am reading and why I am drawn to his poetry.

I would love to hear about who you are reading, and what is it about their work that touches you.