If Emily Dickinson were to work in a flower shop,
you would have Sally Nacker. Her poems
are often about nature, small moments; her talent is
the quiet observation: “Gift me hope when grief is long; /
grant me a little floating song” (“Prayer During Rain”).
Subtly, Nacker readjusts our
expectations with her more muted approach:
“There will be no table in
heaven, / I would think” (“During Stillness”). Although she has been
through sorrow, she is content with life on earth. After all, “A poem’s in
a blade of grass” (“A Poem’s in a Blade of Grass”). Like W. S. Merwin
(whose epigraph frames the book, and whose
preoccupations mirror Nacker’s), Emily Dickinson, and Walt Whitman,
Nacker indicates that “nature’s Mass . . .
awoke me to a holiness” (“A Poem’s in a Blade of Grass”). Nacker’s gift,
along with her metrical skill, is that she
brings the reader along with her
— Kim Bridgford, editor of Mezzo Cammin, and author of Doll
In these quiet songlike poems there are moments, miracles,
when language seems almost to become what it describes.
—Henry Lyman, author of The Land Has Its Say
The stillness in Sally Nacker's poems is infused with a wonderful vitality.
I found myself lingering over each poem
and the quiet immensity the poem brought forth. There is real feeling here,
“a little floating song,” that invigorates and
— BaronWormser, author of Tom o' Vietnam
About the artist:
Cover pastel and inside photolithograph
by Mary Lou Bierman,