Strange Angels by William Pitt Root
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Praise for Strange Angels
"Root's voice is a gift of passion containing whole landscapes, legacies. His voice is sinew, blood, and bone—the well-muscled body carrying light."
—Naomi Shihab Nye, poet
"Celebrating a whole life in free-wheeling, big-hearted poems with their tenderness, wildness, and tough grace, William Pitt Root's Strange Angels is a collection to revel in and honor."
—Ann Fisher-Wirth, author of Dream Cabinet; editor of The Ecopoetry Anthology
"Root's new book, Strange Angels, is a word feast from one of America's great lyricists. And he remains for me the foremost voice of [his] generation. Nothing is alien to him; even the desert beckons in these poems, and his own aging is a source of wonder and magic."
—Paul Christensen, author of Strangers in Paradise
"Root's unforgettable voice sings from the edge of the Everglades to America's great Southwest. A widely traveled man of the world who cares deeply for all its inhabitants, Root sows his poems of our West like rain in the desert. Strange Angels is a remarkable continuation of one of America's strongest poetic voices."
—Doug Peacock, author of Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness
"The 'Strange Angels' of William Pitt Root take flight with pinions fashioned of fire, water, earth, and air. His work is profoundly elemental; every encounter with others, nature, the word, every 'conjunction of my shadow and yours', occurs like a visitation. Root gives to us an angel that has eaten of the tree of knowledge and speaks with the wisdom of one who knows 'all of us are walking upon the waters under the earth.'"
—Rebecca Seiferle, author of The Music We Dance To and Bitters
Please enjoy this sample poem from the book (photo by Ricardo Villalobos):
Calling the World to Order
by William Pitt Root
I sing of the rooster's armored legs
and eyes crazed wide by sunrise
and that comb, hot and red,
flopping as he cocks his absurd gaze
and takes into each eye the charge of light
and grips the top rail with his horny grip
as, calling the world to order,
he makes each threshold star blink and tremble in the sky.
What poet dares with indifference to behold him,
those lyrics edgy as iron, lucid as ice,
that ruthless blood-tongued cry
drawn from a throat sheathed in rainbows of the living flame?