Ira Sadoff’s third book of poetry collects his most mature work so far. In an intense, wide-ranging meditative sequence, these poems chart the arrival and passage of the seasons, centering on time and location as the starting points for the imaginative act. The enlivening subject can be as local as ‘the path/ of the old railroad tracks, / /just before light,’ from ‘January: First Light,’ a brief but indelible poem of renewal; or as distant and desolate as ‘sunrise in the taiga,’ from Sadoff’s homage to Kurosawa. Each poem in this remarkably unified collection earns its emotion through enactment, as a singularly humane intelligence transforms the seen into the felt:
…And like the water
stirred against the lighthouse wall,
breaking up, wave after wave, we
forget ourselves. Learn our place.