Book Review: Ring the Sycamore Sky by John Swain


A debut poetry collection written by John Swain, Ring the Sycamore Sky transports the reader into a lush, primitively embalmed atmosphere of human and natural instincts.  Agape at the grotesque monstrosity of love and the complex fragility of human emotions, Swain expertly weaves a rich tapestry of unusual poetic flair combined with myriad emotional and nature related intersecting symbolic patterns of implied sublimity.  Swain is a gifted poet possessed with a sensual and lyrical storytelling capacity that imbibes ageless wisdom, deep undercurrents of romantic discourse, all the while enthralling the reader with the nuances of a rich lingual feast. Examples of his writing are shared in the excerpts below, his work is available on Amazon.  He resides in Louisville, Kentucky and Ring the Sycamore Sky is his first book length publication.

 I say joy to you,
receive a wreath of hands
and featherbells
for the days
we live without love.
And of this bed of embers
I will not lie in grief
for all the glowing world
within breathes
rain and sleep.

(from Wreath, Ring the Sycamore Sky)

The monastery lake
empties itself to the sky
like a nourishing birth
allows the blue changeling
to find its hiding shape.
I removed my shoes
and touched moss on rocks
in the summer forest
where the creek begins.
Farther down the meander
a wood thrush led me
softly past the hermitage,
I would not disturb him,
I will find my own quiet
beneath a sky of sun
as water touches water.

(from Hermitage, Ring the Sycamore Sky)


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