In the Voice of a Minor Saint
Sarah J. Sloat
Sundress Publications (reprint 2016; originally published Tilt Press 2009)
If the moon comes out bearing nicks and bite marks,
you’ll find me smoothing my skin of its cares tonight.
Under a halo the size of a ring, the old
arguments sit splitting their oldest hairs tonight.
Look at me crooked. Mistake me for Eve. If looks
deceive, who knows which mask our maker wears tonight?
(from “Ghazal with Heavenly Bodies”)
In the Voice of a Minor Saint highlights the extraordinary in ordinary moments: the golden of a shaft of wheat, the heavy buzzing of bees at the end of summer, the sadness of a barren womb. Her language is rich and musical, never overbearing and always tonal. Sloat gives voice to the forgotten, the disenchanting, the wallflower of the world; she unwraps her universe carefully and lovingly. Each poem is always delicately woven, each word carefully picked; it is difficult not to be moved and charmed by the recurring themes and feelings conveyed in this book, not to elevate to sainthood what may seem insignificant. I was delighted to discover not one but two Ghazals in the folds of this chapbook, a form we do not often see—one more minor saint brought to our attention by Sloat’s clever writing.
This review can be found in Issue #21, Give it to me E-gain of @cahoodaloodaling