Sydney Lea is Poet Laureate of Vermont. This is his eleventh collection of poetry. He has also recently published a selection of literary essays, A Hundred Himalayas (University of Michigan Press), and a third naturalist nonfiction volume, A North Country Life: Tales of Woodsmen, Waters, and Wildlife (Skyhorse Publishing). In 2012 he was recognized as a Conservation Hero by Field & Stream magazine. (Author photo by Bruce Richards)
"The poems in Sydney Lea's I Was Thinking of Beauty often grow out of reminiscence, but they are poems without nostalgia, in which the harsh has equal billing with the beautiful, in which memories are approached not as sources of grand revelation but as nodes of vitality that the poet is still in the process of understanding. Meanwhile, as he probes them, he is equally aware that all memory is construction, 'including,' as he says in the wonderful 'Ars Vitae,' 'the things that really happened.' In the tension between going back and reaching forward, between the wish to understand the past and the wish to create a version of life true to one's deepest wishes, a resonant beauty is created."
Four Way Books