Published: September, 2013
Owen Lewis’s spare, beautifully realized, and humane book of poems dramatizes how we survive our lives, which are sometimes filled with daylight, but also shadowed by dark grief. How rare to discover a first book that is a fully mature work of art. —Edward Hirsch
Owen Lewis’s poems do us the huge favor of restoring a radical and essential strangeness to the so-called “everyday.” He is a shaman riding upon the storm-split house, the family tree that wanders through Minsk, Brooklyn, and Jersey, the love-sculpted bedclothes, the parent grown perplexing, and the handwriting of the dead. Nothing that is human is alien to Lewis in these fine poems, which perform again and again the gutsy feat of stealing the graveyard flowers. —Patrick Donnelly
At any given moment, the poems of Sometimes Full of Daylight straddle the objective and subjective realms of the speaker’s world at large. What we hear, taste, see, feel in this book may be of the “real” or may be of that inner terrain, that reservoir of the drinkable or molten that rises up, up, up from that place we call the psyche. Lewis writes deeply imagined poems, and as wonderfully complex and layered as they can be, they are always accessible to the reader, always navigable, always worth our while to read, always luminous. —Martha Rhodes
Here, within me, it still howls.
When I should be full of daylight,
when the sun ought to have
pronounced its passion, the grief
blisters through the clouds
and reaches me. I am a lost bird
whose feathers fall with rain.
Without you, a turtle
whose shell dissolves on the path
leading back to my own door.
I am still here
but dark strangers surround me.
Sometimes full of daylight
I link arms with them.
Owen Lewis’s poetry has appeared in The Adirondack Review, Peregrine, Four Way Review, The Performing Arts Review and other publications. His honors include a prize in Pat Schneider Poetry Awards from the Amherst Writers and Artists Press. He is co-author of the multi-media work New Pictures At An Exhibition (Manduca Music), which has received many concert performances. A child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, he is a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. His chapbook March In San Miguel was published by Finishing Line Press, 2012.