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We Lit the Lamps Ourselves

We Lit the Lamps Ourselves

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“Poets light but Lamps – / Themselves – go out –”, declared Emily Dickinson, whose works – along with those of the Bronte sisters and Sylvia Plath – have inspired this new collection from Andrea Potos. ‘Dreamseeped hours’ put Potos on intimate terms with her subjects, while journeys to their homes offer relics of their history. The vibrant, impressionistic poems that follow are haunted by lives long past whose voices still ring clear and strong.

She said there’s a clarity in each word,
like the chandelier
that hung in your dining room as a child-
stars of blue-white and yellow-gold,
even purple and magenta could be found
sparking on all the walls;
each piece of the chandelier-
a teardrop whole and dipped in light-
you could see your whole life through it.

(‘Speaking of Poetry’)

Andrea Potos is the author of three poetry collections: Yaya’s Cloth (2007), Abundance to Share With the Birds and The Perfect Day. Awards for her writing include the James Hearst Poetry Prize from the North American Review. Her poems appear widely in journals, and in anthologies including Mothers & Daughters: A Poetry Celebration (2001) and I Feel A Little Jumpy Around You (1996). She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.