From rough folk-verse to high-flown poesy, from a nine-line rhyme to a six-hundred-line epic, both the style and genre of the poetry in this volume cover a broad range of poetic possibility. This is the first volume of John Julians poetry ever published, revealing an important new American poetic voice.
John-Julian, OJN, is an 81 year-old Episcopal priest and monk. He served parishes in Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Connecticut and was the founding Dean of the Seminary of the Streets in New York City before founding the Wisconsin-based contemplative monastic Order of Julian of Norwich in 1985. The earliest poem in this book was written in 1959the most recent in 2014.
"...Not surprisingly, most pages of verse in John Julians collection EYES HAVE I THAT SEE betray a voice steeped in liturgy and Holy Writ. What is surprising is the POV. Nearly every one of his poems unfolds an interior narrative from a charactersometimes himselfstruggling to understand. Or to be understood. Or declaring a triumph, suffering a loss, mocking an opinion, reaching for or finding love. The process feels confessional, but also quite original.
"The Bible is not his only reference. Cervantes and Antiquity are on call, including a marvelous aria by a doomed bull facing his toreador killer. In many ways John Julian speaks as a playwright sketching the dreams and subtexts for eventual action. Read these poems expecting an overture..."Andrew Bro: Retired priest, chaplain, professor, co-founder of Timberlake Playhouse, museum consultant.
An extraordinary flair for free verse poetry, John Julian's word conjured images will linger in the mind and imagination long after this slender volume has been finished and set back upon the shelf. 'The Bee': The golden-hunered past, / the stones on which the thrones / of thousands stand, / begins to turn, / and antique appetite for crowns / rolls menacingly/ there behind my blood. / My shoulders feel a thirst / for purple, / but I fly. Helen Dumont, Midwest Book Review