Poetry Review: At the Edgelessness of Light

At The Edgelessness of Light
By James McGrath
Paperback $16.95; ISBN 0865344531, 115 pp.
Sunstone Press; March 2005
Buy from Amazon.com

Book Review by Kathleen Cunningham Guler

Poet, artist and teacher, James McGrath, defines the edgelessness of light as “that place where love and light are revealed: a vibrant, gentle, lonely place where the tides of feeling and understanding move in and out with constant illumination and exposure of what is important in the moment before fading, leaving the edgeless shadow of a poem.”

Indeed, McGrath’s latest collection of poems is tied together through the theme of light and the natural world in balance. The sixty-two works also spring from the essence of many cultures, including Celtic, Native-American, Filipino, Okinawan, and Greek. As different as these cultures may be, it should be noted that authors/artists/musicians often overlap elements from one culture to another in their work, linking the primal and spiritual similarities within them. This collection glides from one to the other with seamless ease.

McGrath’s writing is clear, tight, and accessible. The poet is also an artist, and this is evident in the strong visual images his words evoke. Each poem explores the facets of a very personal story. Many are autobiographical. Others are portraits of friends, family, students. Some are heartbreakingly poignant. It is as if he captures a handful of light, pinpoints it on his subject, then sets the light free again. What is left behind is an impression that will long remain in the mind. Absolutely luminous!

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