Today's poem is "Field Thistle"
from Opalescence

David Robert Books

Judith Skillman is the winner of numerous awards, including the Eric Mathieu King Fund from the Academy of American Poets and the Stafford Award from the Washington Poets Association. She has received grants from Centrum Foundation, King County Arts Commission, and the Washington State Arts Commission. Her poems have appeared in Iowa Review, Northwest Review, Poetry, Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Malahat Review, and many other journals. Her previous volumes of poems are Worship of the Visible Spectrum (Breitenbush Books, 1986); Beethoven and the Birds (Blue Begonia Press, 1996); Storm (Blue Begonia, 1998); Red Town (Silverfish Review Press, 2001); and Latticework (David Roberts, 2004). Her chapbook Sweetbrier was published in 2001 as part of the Blue Begonia Working Signs Series. Circe’s Island was released in 2003 from Silverfish Review Press. Skillman holds a Masters in English Literature from the University of Maryland. She has done graduate work in Translation Studies at the University of Washington, and teaches Humanities courses at City University in Bellevue, Washington.

Other poems by Judith Skillman in Verse Daily:

July 5, 2004:  "Reclaimed" "No, the acre has no hold on me, I told the cold...."
May 6, 2004:  "Lattice, The Arbor and The Espalier" "By its milky light the sun left to grow..."
October 16, 2002:  "Lilacs" "Because they signify a life / less sterile, I twist their stems..."

About Opalescence:

"In Opalescence, Judith Skillman blends the two arts of poetry writing and stained-glass making into a powerful and highly original book. As the stained glass artisan, for her art, endures the injuries that heat and the cutting edges of glass and metal can inflict, so Skillman endures the pain of exploring the obscure recesses of her personal past within a web of historical, mythical, and biblical allusions that weave through the book holding it together as the web of lead cames weaves through and holds together a piece of stained glass. In these poems, she shores the fragments of memory and emotion against the sure oblivion of the future, just as the stained glass artisan assembles a luminous mosaic from an apparent chaos of glass shards. In Opalescence, Judith Skillman lets us see through her to ourselves, not as through a glass darkly, but with glorious light."
—Stephen Meats

"In Opalescence, Judith Skillman brings the light that shimmers through stained glass to poetry of the human and natural world. The poems in this book are themselves like marvels of stained glass in their nuances of color, the juxtapositions of feeling and image into all their potentials, in how each poem reflects, refracts, and enhances the others."
—Joan Swift

"Skillman’s poems move out from their opening point meditatively and delicately to embrace distant sights, memories of the past, other countries, and also mythologies and similarities…Skillman’s poems are created by following where an initial sensed quality leads; and all of the world, from objects to envisionings, is spun together by qualities similar and different."
Small Press Book Review

"You get the idea from Skillman there’s a lot more going on than that’ll escape us if we construct our lives from nothing more than the four basic building blocks of the daily grind: work, chow, TV, sack time. A fifth element, and one that makes life worth living in these poems is awareness, something we are likely to encounter if we create the time and quiet that are otherwise missing."
—David Kirby

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