In Joseph Stroud’s Country of Light, his poetic imagination infuses landscapes, hard travel, and commonplace objects. Whether trekking through Mexico or Vietnam, living in the High Sierras, or “painting paradise” in the voice of Renaissance painter Giotto, Stroud’s lyrics, prose poems, elegies, and odes articulate a journey of uncommon attention and startling perception.
I put the shell down and wait for the snail
to emerge. I have much to learn of patience.
I no longer wonder where did love go,
or why the nights are so long. Issa says
the words will find a way across the page,
they will make a path into morning.
“A book by Joseph Stroud is a rare and exciting event… Stroud’s poetry forms a union between revelation and the places of the world we allow the poet to inhabit.” —Bloomsbury Review
“Stroud’s omnivorous intellect coupled with his acute sensory awareness yields some truly striking poetry. His latest book, Country of Light, offers a diverse selection of such works… When Below Cold Mountain, Stroud’s last book, came out in 1998, it earned him much attention. Now, with this erudite and eclectic fourth collection, it seems he has, once again, hit the mother lode.” —Kansas City Star
“Even before being opened, some books of poetry have the weight and luster of precious gems. These books should be cradled and carried in both hands like a newly discovered treasure chest… Country of Light is such a book.” —Home News Tribune