Rarely is a debut collection described as “fearless,” “the real deal,” showing “voracious intelligence” — especially when the poet has reached 80 years. Florence Fogelin’s lyric poetry, informed by a “nomad’s telescope,” focuses on desire and mortality, marriage and place. Like “stone masons chipping at perplexity,” she crafts a journey — from Vermont to Sicily, from tearing down a boathouse to talking with Sappho on a NYC subway — finding “the eternal hope seen in every graveyard” while “doubting the existence of guardrails.”
Praise for Once It Stops:
Fogelin’s poems amaze with range; her voracious intelligence encompasses stinging societal critiques: “Washington’s smooth face expresses a way to remember,/a why to forget” and “slouching, buttless boys who somehow manage/to keep their pants on”; and beauty: “a farm house … hangs by a thread of wood smoke”; the philosophical and cosmic, high and low: an “up-thrust middle finger… outlasts a pope.” Compassion and fearless self-implication balance her dark wit: “I lifted up the scab and peeked/to see the future.” — April Ossmann
Florence Fogelin brings us “teetering between desire and fear” to the top of a Mayan Temple, onto San Francisco Bay, to “the cell of a medieval monk/freshly pocked with bullet holes.” These exuberant, well-honed poems exhort us to “step on the gas/ and race toward light’s longest day.” — Laura Foley
Florence Fogelin is the author of the chapbook, Facing the Light (Redgreene Press), and her poems have been featured in numerous poetry journals including The Florida Review; anthologies including The Breath of Parted Lips: Voices from the Frost Place (CavanKerry Press); and on the websites of Poetry Daily and Women’s Voices for Change. She lives in White River Junction, VT.