Small Fires, Little Flames
by Adam Penna
Adam Penna is a poet and fiction writer. He lives in East Moriches, NY with his family.
The poems of Small Fires, Little Flames are poems of rescue, as the dedication notes, but a rescue made possible only after the poet’s realization that his world has been burning, slowly and steadily, into oblivion. In a sequence of thirty small, graceful lyrics, Penna returns to the domestic, spiritual, and natural landscapes of Little Songs and Lyrics to Genji, but this time he listens more carefully to the wind, to the birds, to the trees, and to his dreams. These new poems quietly remind us that hindsight, like starlight, arrives after life is lived and experience is met, but delivers a promise, also like starlight, of a new life that rises not from, but despite, the devastation of one’s past.
–Sarah Kain Gutowski, author of Fabulous Beast: The Sow
Adam Penna‘s Small Fires, Little Flames calls attention to attentiveness and its resulting intimations. The poems are humble and spare, monk’s cells where the murmuring of subtle music in beautifully cadenced lines reveals that “God’s voice is always simple, clear.” Mindful of ineffability and paradox, these poems ask, “What can we do before/ glory but kneel?” Read these poems aloud and listen as you would to the wind.
–Dan Giancola, author of _Here’s the Thing_