“David Sanders is a poet of craft and beauty. …There’re no transgressions here, no showboating, or imbalance. These are poems of simple pure vision, calm poems, motivated by a wish to say what is seen, truthfully and clearly.”
Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books
“David Sanders is a truly talented and subtle formal poet, but his formal hand is never heavy, and is almost always even transparent.… This is mature, complete work, the likes of which are rare. At their best, his poems remind us of Frost’s maxim, that a poem is a stay against confusion.”
James Cummins, author of Still Some Cake and Then & Now
“Compass and Clock is the strongest new book of poems I have read in quite some time.”
“The truth these poems tell should be harsh—yet the quiet music of Sanders’s language renders it beautiful.”
The poems of Compass and Clock take their inspiration from the intersection of the natural world and the human, exploring the landscapes in which those intersections occur. Those landscapes range from David Sanders’s native midwestern countryside to the caves of Lascaux and an enchanted lake where relics of lost lives are washed ashore. Yet, the true source of the poems’ vitality is Sanders’s attention to the missed or misread moments, those times when the act fails, and the perceived clashes with the actual.
Here, the satisfying pairing of elegance and vulnerability invites the reader to tour those uncanny landscapes from which one returns irrevocably changed — refreshed, but wistful. In a review of his earlier limited-edition work, Time in Transit, the Hudson Review called David Sanders “a poet to watch.” With the Swallow Press publication of Compass and Clock, we have the realization of that promise.
David Sanders, who as director of Swallow Press resurrected its legacy of publishing some of the finest formal poets in the world, is the general editor of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize and the founding editor of Poetry News in Review. His poems and translations have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and his work has been compiled in two limited-edition collections, Nearer to Town and Time in Transit.
“Compass and Clock” — Book trailer
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