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Indian Hill Press - Martha's Vineyard
Robert Frosts Answering Machine
 This collection of 24 sonnets was a winner of the 2008 Bright Hill Press Chapbook Competition. Its publication in 2009, in chapbook form, marks Daniel Waters' first nationally-distributed volume of formal poetry.

 Skunk Night Sonnets meanders through a landscape where humans share a troubled existence with the rest of nature. Swans, jellyfish, turtles and other creatures enter the conversation as metaphors, antagonists and protagonists. Other times, as in the title poem, man is defined by his reactions to a world over which he has, in the end, no control:
Book Photo   Skunk Night

The night is fouled! The violated stars,
aquiver in the rising midnight stench,
abide like hanging martyrs. Houses clench
their sashes, windows wincing. Passing cars
pass quickly, as though speed left briefer scars.
Sweet dreams go rotten in our beds. We wrench
awake too late: the ills already drench
our sheets and everything we dreamt was ours.

Will death arrive this way, or will it bloom
more gently? Lilacs by the kitchen door,
a lost and longed-for friend from way back when,
embraced and shown into the living room -
so long imagined, even beckoned-for,
his coming makes a home complete again.
 With thematic roots that reach deeply into Martha's Vineyard, Skunk Night Sonnets has been favorably received by the off-Island poetry community:

"This book approaches you with such civility, speaks with such courtesy, and touches you so deftly that you don't know what it's up to until, the conversation over, you pat your pockets and realize your illusions are missing: nature is not generous, creation not kind, the body not a temple, what you love most neither unique nor enduring, your chosen emblems of purity and power neither powerful nor pure. But pat your pockets again. You'll find that these sonnets have left behind wisdom, honesty, humor, clarity, and a quietly uplifting, irreplaceable music that more than compensates for the faded old stuff they relieved you of, which you were almost ready to throw out anyway." - Rhina P. Espaillat

"Reading these sonnets feels like a visit to the porch of a wise old friend. In these carefully-crafted sonnets Daniel Waters illuminates the familiar in fair but fresh language, then makes you see it differently with a stunning turn of phrase or thought. As with Frost at his best, Waters enhances these sonnets with a sly wit rare in contemporary poetry. This book provides joy, insight, and subtle surprises." - A.M. Juster
Pages from Book
A peek inside.
 Skunk Night Sonnets was offset-printed on acid-free, recycled paper. Size: 4 x 6 inches vertical. Twenty-four pages of text. Bright Hill Press, 2009.
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