The Star of the End by Stephen Williams


The Star of the End considers a human life through kaleidoscopically-shifting temporal perspectives: diaristic, seasonal, historical, apocalyptic, that of “normalcy” versus that of pandemic—the knife-edge of the instant, the potential fullness of the present moment. Written out of private life against the background of climate change, political upheaval, and the covid-19 pandemic, The Star of the End seeks sanity and hopes for salvation in the warp and weft of poetic language.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 154
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: May, 2022
  • ISBN 978-1-953252-54-8


Imagine someone seated before the fire or in a pear tree’s shade. They might well be writing these very poems. A quotidian Ovid: “quicksilver substance, daily life/—as if there were any other—…” A Virgilian landscape spreads before them: “driveways, beige houses, lawns elms spill/ their shadows grandly over…” Maybe reflecting upon Horace: “Can’t the mind glimpse fine/ coherences in the luminous/ fire of things?” Who is this Augustinian? Or Goliard? “In the troubadours’/ songs, spring birds ‘speak/ in their latin’. Holy language.” Nonetheless, these bright teasers from The Star of the End can’t possibly give their reader the slightest suggestion of the grace Stephen Williams’ book of poems achieves so effortlessly. My commending them lacks all their own savoir-faire. Cut on the bias, their folds fall naturally, simply hiding the expertise and learning grounding their everyday particularity. “Mossy concrete/ weeds twisted/ rebar graffiti…” “Tyvek on blonde lumber …” “Sears Tower engulfed in cloud.” Think of Thomas Hardy, his now all too neglected poetry. Plainspoken. The plains speaking. A Midwest of sinuous grace, whole stanzas, single line-breaks, a humble metaphor, everything out in the open by day or night. Yet an uninterrupted reverence collects and pools in obligation to the veracity of creation and the nature and manufacture of the world we are given here in this fine poet’s work. —Thomas Meyer



Deep calls out
to deep, cell
to cell in the
nervous system,

lack to lack, hollow
to hollow
in the rock.
In the heart.


Stephen WilliamsStephen Williams lives in Chicago.
He is the author of Earth Enough.

Additional information

Weight 10.5 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .5 in