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The God of Roundabouts, Poems by Susan Shaw Sailer
The God of Roundabouts, by Susan Shaw Sailer, balances endings with beginnings: the end of a life, a marriage, a home, a season, a language, a time of life, with the beginning of a new home, a new season, a new year, a new understanding of self. Her poems acknowledge the horrors of war, the complexity of identity, and the wonder of the natural world. Against "a poverty of self" and "war rooms tamped with vengeance," Sailer offers "the luscious checkered length of zebra grass" and "love, the binder of all days."
"I love the elegant measured stanzas in Susan Shaw Sailer's The God of Roundabouts for their music and for their ability to embrace both elegy and ecstasy. Sailer has a sharp eye for eccentricity (wild turkey calling contests) and tragedy (loss of home, loved ones, and even languages). She is a poet who 'starves to know the world entire,' and these poems travel through many places following the circuitous path of the roundabout deity of the title. Art is the source of hope in these poems and even in the dark moments, The God of Roundabouts finds ways, like Theodore Roethke, to make the urgently needed call for 'Praise to the end!'"-Maggie Anderson
"In The God of Roundabouts, Susan Shaw Sailer creates a vision of always looking forward: The road lay flat, beyond the hills. The speaker in these lovely poems not only inhabits the natural world, but becomes part of it, as she revels in 'redbuds... dragonfly ...dandelions...rabbits...sapwood still red...roses and their thorns...the ancient oak, bark & heartwood gone.' Sailer's desire is relentless, spanning now and then-and now and future with an irrepressible hunger: I don't want the grave,/Give me more time/in the thin gray zone-. We all need more time with this brave writer, these remarkable poems."-Jan Beatty
"In The God of Roundabouts I love how the poet's fierce life-force meets the everyday. Susan Shaw Sailer brings wonder and grief to the passage of time, using sharp, living language that prods us to wake up to the world around us. Her gratitude becomes the reader's for a life so deeply experienced: 'I learned to taste a forkful/ of despair mixed with carnal licks/ and limbs.' In love with the particular and with the solidity of words themselves, these poems bring joy."-Anne Marie Macari
ISBN-13: 978-1625492043, 76 pages, $17