In this latest volume of poetry by Fred Dings, we have a generous selection of poems from his first two books, After the Solstice and Eulogy for a Private Man, as well as many new poems. In After the Solstice, Dings explores “how we can live past the summer’s solstice of our lives,” offering how luminous moments of experience (past and present) can sustain us in darkening times. In Eulogy for a Private Man, he explores a wide range of human concerns as well as how the unique interiority of individual consciousness can serve as a counterweight to the group-self and group-think that increasingly characterizes the sphere of public discourse. In The Four Rings, the section of new poems from which the entire volume gets its title, he contextualizes the self (which does not and cannot live entirely in isolation) within four rings of interdependent relationship: self, family, community, divinity. In these poems, he offers the possibility of peace in the midst of conflict.
“In these musical poems Dings attains a rare, genuine eloquence.”
“There is nothing notational or offhand about Dings’s poems. Each is an exploration, intense and riveting.”
“Several years back, I read many of Fred Dings’ poems in POETRY and was compelled by their care and modesty, honest music, and delicacy of imagery. Anchored in meaning, here was a serious mind joined to a voice that paid attention to and thus transformed the immediate, smallest and yet glorious details of the world around him. His earlier books were justly praised for their craft, clarity, and vision. In his New & Selected Poems, the new poems expand his reach and depth of understanding, and he leads us all in praise-filled songs to life.”
“Fred Dings' new and selected poems offer fresh and enduring close-ups of the human stakes at risk in our daily rounds. His poems are compelling reminders of possibilities too readily missed by the hue and cry of louder voices.”
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Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press