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Flashlight: New and Selected Poems by Gayl Teller
Her poetic eye works like a flashlight illuminating wider and wider swaths of reality and human interconnectedness. From the basketball courts in the Bronx beach club, where she met her husband, to her Hofstra University students, the people she befriends on her travels, like the tour guide in Prague, from her thoughts at her granddaughter's Bat Mitzvah, to her present Plainview community with its Sunday Y poets, dancers, mah jongg players, her language opens out with essential truths of the human condition, how despite vast cultural, ethnic, and individual differences, we share common needs, frailties, struggles, and dreams. Her flashlight embraces our common human family.
"I am drawn to these poems because of their creativity, their deft precision of observation, their gorgeous language, and redemptive messages. Teller's poems resonate on the deepest level, are elegant tapestries of carefully stitched words with a reverence for detail, each a panorama of exceptional color giving voice to the experience. Her poems strike deeply, speak of our common longings, shared pain, and our loves. The voice in this collection is sure, refined, playful at times, and wise. The diction is powerfully intimate, skillfully universal. These poems have a subtle sonic ringing within, a sense of transcendence, a reverence for the common passage we humans share. The range of this collection is amazing, as is her lush, empathetic utterances of what it is to survive in our world, and what we might have learned from the experience."-Gladys L. Henderson, Poet Laureate Suffolk County 2017-2019; author of Eclipse of Heaven, Finishing Line Press, 2008