Diverting Angels by Deborah Diemont


“These angels captivate with a rhythm reminiscent of Emily Dickinson, but they urge the reader forward with a sly and confident sensuality and a clear breadth of experience.” —Sanya Huber


  • Kind: Perfect
  • Pages: 72
  • Language: English
  • Published: October, 2012
  • ISBN: 978-1-933675-75-6


The forty-two sonnets in Deborah Diemont’s new collection, “Diverting Angels,” combine grace with a wildness that embraces leaping connections, which in turn generate meaning in surprising ways. The tension produces alchemy possible only in a strong container, and here I refer not only to the form, but to the intelligence from which these poems spring. There are cloudbursts and sudden jungle sounds, traceries of buried cities, artifacts in the DNA, evidence of unheard music, and emptiness that “exacts a transformation.” Diemont’s vision penetrates the membrane of space-time to link what-was to the present and future, and to what-might-have-been as another kind of fact known only through an act of imagination, which is also an act of courage. The exquisite wedding of sense and music evokes Emily Dickinson and Hart Crane, the paintings of Arthur Dove in which the forms we did not see in nature emerge lyrically, but also as revelations. “Let him sing,” says the poet. “Let him row on the wind.”  Humanity and mystery overflow in this powerful work. —Paul Pines



I like the mountain, I adore your spine,
the way you stand as if pulled by a string
toward the sky, palms turned out by your hips.
And how you steeple, arch, curve down to dive.
How emptiness exacts a transformation—
dog-to-cat, child-to-warrior, a tree
where right foot meets the left thigh easily.
Your toes dig in like roots, and your frustration
powers down, with knees and chest and chin
against the floor. I like best when you clasp
your hands in prayer, right at the end, akin
to someone who believes. Roll up your mat—
crave nicotine, pour coffee. We’re aligned,
my tree, my mountain. I adore your spine.


Deborah Diemont lives in Syracuse, New York. She spends summers in Chiapas, Mexico, where she has written for a bilingual magazine of arts and culture and translated exhibit materials at the Museum of Mayan Medicine. Her poetry chapbook Wanderer was published in 2009 by Dos Madres Press, and her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications.

Additional information

Weight 6 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in