poem index


True Faith




Poetry Book
True Faith by Ira Sadoff

In his eighth collection of poetry, Sadoff poses questions about happiness and resilience. The poems often gesture towards a common humanity, with lines such as, "we all have one breath, it's the same breath," and the collection, as Claudia Rankine notes, both "yearns for and calls into question the mechanisms for creating transcendence." Moments of divinity emerge in unexpected places: In "My First Roses" Sadoff writes, "My first roses brought me to my senses. / All my furies, I launched them like paper boats / in the algaed pond behind my house." In the poem "Apologia" he writes, "I step aside from those / who've been anointed to hear voices: they're like bees / / under your pant leg that sting and sting, so even / when they’re dead because they hurt you, the flesh / is still gristle, swelling and pulsing: that's where my god is.

Ultimately, to Sadoff, it is imagination that allows faith, fosters possibility, and evidences beauty. From "For Beauty"

Imagination's a great gift: you can make it small,
call it escapist, transcendent, fancy, and sometimes
it walks away from the accident; it might haul you off

to a lush little meadow, or the muddy pond
where yaks dip their tongues in the gatorless water
where you can wash off the scratches and bruises.

This book review originally appeared in American Poets magazine.

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