Sonnets and Songs

Sonnets and Songs

by Arthur Upson

Arthur Upson's insightful and sensitive poetic art is grandly displayed in this selection of some of his best work. As a tribute to Upson, Ruth Shepard Phelps proclaims in the introductory poem of this volume, "And all the rare and lovely things that are / Bloom newly now to celebrate thy name." Indeed "rare and lovely" are apt concepts to describe the nature of Upson's work, his poems being conceived by a man with a quest, with a passion for meaning, a man "fain to know / What are humanity and human fate". Upson is a grand poet, an "explorer of a star / Where all is strange", and although his poet's determination is mired in "phantom days, each one / The shadow of a hope", he is determined to continue his fervent search for meaning, despite realizing that, "Slow-tongued Experience teaches me to bear / On lips more patient Love's impatient prayer." Just as Upson's talent faces no diminishment by the "phantom days" that surround him, neither is his poetic skill encumbered by its mandatory human incarnation - an incarnation of which the poet is intensely aware, intensely affected by, and which compels him to produce works of insight and earthly resonance to transform his quest for a search for meaning, for truth, and for a comprehension and enactment of the power of love. This is the essence of the current that runs through this collection and is manifested in each of these magnificent poems, resulting in an uplifting volume of inspiring readability and rousing introspective depth. - Summary by Bruce Kachuk

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