In his third collection of poems Todd Davis advises us that "the only corruption comes / in not loving this life enough." Over the course of this masterful and heartfelt book it becomes clear that Davis not only loves the life he's been given, but also believes that the ravishing desire of this world can offer hope, and even joy, however it might be negotiated.
Drawing upon a range of stories from the Christian, Transcendental, and Asian traditions, as well as from his own deep understanding of the natural world, Davis explores the connection between the visible and invisible worlds, or what Pierre Teilhard de Chardin called "the incandescent surface of matter plunged in God."
A direct poetic descendant of Walt Whitman, Davis invites us to sing "the songs we collect in the hymnals of our flesh- / impromptu, a cappella, our mouths flung open / in a great wide O."
"Todd Davis writes poems of passion and compassion about every living thing. The body, sensuality, and the divine share a loving residence in these poems that see and say all things holy. Rarely has gentleness felt so forceful or images been so deftly allied on the page. This book is a hymnal for anyone who loves nature and hungers for its surprising presence in heart and mind."
—Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of Genius Loci and Science and Other Poems, Winner of the Walt Whitman Award
"I love the integrity, sincerity, and wisdom of Todd Davis’s poems. He is unafraid to write out of a deep faith—both religious faith and faith in the natural world. In a poetic landscape that often seems biased toward the cynical and clever, Davis’s poems unapologetically strive for the mountaintop. They make clear that the natural world still has a few things to teach us, or remind us of things we once knew but have forgotten. They sing with imagistic intensity, and their hard-hitting rhythms accentuate the world’s natural pulse. The restraint and humility of these poems belies their underlying passion and commitment. They are pure and sharp, so sharp they cut."
—Jim Daniels, author of Revolt of the Crash-Test Dummies and Show and Tell, Winner of the Brittingham Prize
"As a poet matures, if things are going well, he becomes progressively unhinged in the best way: daring more intuitive conjunctions of image and idea, re-associating the sensibility of our stunned and over-thought world. It’s a joy to see Todd Davis growing into this limnal space. The best poems here bring back a word from the prophetic edge."
—Mary Rose O’Reilley, author of The Love of Impermanent Things and Half Wild, Winner of the Walt Whitman Award