Things Not Seen

Things Not Seen

by Eric Potter


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The poems in Things Not Seen are by turns playful, witty, and serious. Ranging widely from rock concert to communion, from the stray dog of faith to the results of a mammogram, sewing to shooting stars, Schrodinger's cat to Lazarus, they address issues of doubt and longing, the desire for certainty, the presence of mystery, and the struggle in, of, and for faith. After examining sources of false confidence along with failures to see, the poems explore conflicting ways of knowing and being, gradually turning toward an increased willingness to accept limitation, and finally reaching toward tentative affirmations. The final section, a series of poems written in response to icons, charts a struggle toward vision and understanding, an effort to see with the eyes of faith.

""Things Not Seen is by turns knowingly ironic, linguistically playful, lyrically intimate, celebratory of family, the natural world, momentary pleasures, and wise. These ambitious poems explore layers of faith, love, and ethical commitment. Things Not Seen is a wholly satisfying collection . . . [which] bears the image of a truly accomplished poet.""
--Philip Terman, Professor of English, Clarion University, Co-Director, Chautauqua Writers' Festival

""The poems in Things Not Seen are, paradoxically, clear-sighted, looking unflinchingly at the realities of our daily doubts, sufferings, and the lies we tell ourselves and each other. In the midst of these betrayals, however, are life-giving surprises and infusions of grace, pointing, like John the Baptist, to Christ crushed for us. They are Imago Dei, breathing incarnations. They are themselves icons, small masterpieces that lead us to full devotion.""
--Jill Baumgaertner, Professor of English, Dean of Humanities and Theological Studies, Wheaton College; Poetry editor, The Christian Century

""Playful and earnest, these lucid poems will concentrate your attention 'the way a magnifying / glass // gathers the mild sun / to make a point / so heated it can start / a blaze.' In poem after poem, Things Not Seen gives evidence of faithful perception. For here they come, like daffodils, 'green / nails bursting / through the snow.'""
--Paul J. Willis, Say This Prayer into the Past

""The placid surfaces of these elegantly rendered poems leave me unprepared for the microbursts of their inner and outer weather. From dandelions to Christmas cards, Potter contemplates the 'tepid pleasures' of the world, turning them and turning them until I am moved, as he is, by what Baudelaire called 'jolts of consciousness,' at times epiphanic, but just as often wistful and pensive.""
--L. S. Klatt, Associate Professor of English, Calvin College

Eric Potter is Professor of English at Grove City College (PA) where he teaches courses in creative writing, American literature, and modern poetry. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Heart Murmur (2010) and Still Life (2010).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498229241
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 09/03/2015
Pages: 88
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Eric Potter is Professor of English at Grove City College (PA) where he teaches courses in creative writing, American literature, and modern poetry. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Heart Murmur (2010) and Still Life (2010).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix


Lament 3

The Odds 5

Certainty 7

Matter of Fact 8

History of Ideas 9

Meandering 10

Conversation Piece 12

Sleeping Dogs Lie 13

Arrowheads 14

If this page 15

September Sunday Afternoon Dandelions 17


California Dreaming 21

Actually Speaking 23

Unable 24

Seamstress 26

One True Sentence 27

Daffodils 28

A Shooting Star 29

Squirrels 30

Breathing Room 31


Fight Fire with Fire 35

The Worst Hung 36

September 37

Another Language 38

Faith 39

Entanglements 40

Personal Economy 42


Wide Awake 44

Rendering 46

For Example 47

Extravagance 48

New Communion 50

Tattoos 51

Vegetables from my Neighbors' Gardens 53

Blessed 55

V Icon Writing

Icon Writing 59

Doors of Perception 61

At the Burning Bush 63

Christmas Card Icon 64

Mothers and Sons 65

Crying in the Wilderness 66

The Business of Icons 68

Favorite Saint 69

Man of Sorrows 71

At the Cross 73

Breath 75

Still Life 76

Notes 77

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