Floyd Skloot, Writer


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The Snow's Music

Louisiana State University Press, Cloth & Paper, 2008, 64 pp

From the Publisher:

The Snow's Music continues award-winning poet Floyd Skloot's lyrical and narrative explorations of memory, love, loss, and artistic expression. At once musical and precise, formal and fluid, Skloot's poems balance inner and outer vision, past and present experience, meditation and observation, humor and sadness. Skloot explores human resilience in the face of sudden change and radical shifts of perception that define creative endeavor when the world refuses to cohere. Whether recalling lessons learned as a young actor in the role of a Shakespearean clown, thinking about the painter Georges Braque reassembling himself after wartime head injuries, or imagining his volatile parents reunited in the afterlife following his mother's death at age ninety-six, Skloot's accessible poems move and delight, creating his most emotional and engaging work to date.

Quotes from reviews of the book:

"In his new collection, The Snow's Music, poet Floyd Skloot orchestrates a haunting symphony out of meditations on memory and transience. The grounding melodies of these poems are harmonized with notes from other artistic disciplines. This interplay is especially manifest in a section that renders intimate, internal moments in the lives of historical writers, musicians, and artists. Skloot breathes life into the creative process, exploring the visions of these artists and pondering the correspondence between the making of art and memory. . . . Skloot's prayerful attention to detail becomes the verbal equivalent of the way the painters he writes about sketch a landscape to capture the incandescence of a moment. This interplay between art forms is not exclusive to one section of The Snow's Music but suffuses the collection, as painterly details and vivid colors mingle with the recurring metaphor of music alongside the theme of memory. . . . From considering a mother's memory loss to the agony of a sibling's death, from lyrical notations of the natural world to the shadowy figures of dreams, Skloot ranges far and wide in his observations. In each still moment, his eye captures the smallest threads of color veining the scene. These visions become an electric music that pulls at the soul; they interact with and build on one another, providing arresting snapshots of human beings, past and present." –Image Journal

"Skloot's delicately balanced poems are talismans against silence and forgetting. Recalling what's gone becomes a life-affirming act, a way of converting pain into something beautiful." –Lesley Wheeler, Literature and Medicine

"'The woods are making music of the wind,' writes Floyd Skloot in 'Late Autumn Air,' yet another of the many elegiac pieces in this collection. Skloot mourns the passing of lives, his own, those of major figures in the world of art and literature (from Braque to Hardy), and dear ones around him. This elegiac note is not burdensome, however. Skloot writes with such affection for the world, even as it passes, that there is joy in his language, and a deep personal music that penetrates and lifts everything it touches. This is glorious poetry, and a rare accomplishment by a poet of remarkable skills, a keen ear, a fierce eye, an open heart." –Jay Parini, author of The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems

"I believe that Mr. Skloot is one of the finest lyric poets writing in English today, and that this is his best collection to date." –Daniel Mark Epstein, author of The Traveler's Calendar

"Floyd Skloot's skill as a poet is evident poem after poem. Formal, but always fluid, the rhythms subtle, the rhymes unforced, the words take you by surprise. Read, 'Playing the Bawd at Twenty', 'Closer to Home', 'A Unified Field' or 'Afterlife' and listen to the 'snow's own music', the subtle sounds the world makes as we quietly dream and die, live and fail, mourn and love." –Dorianne Laux, author of Facts About the Moon