Peculiar Honors

Peculiar Honors is a collection of poems about how things appear to be one way, then surprise us by being something else. There is an alternative reality that becomes visible only through the lens of poetry. What seems to be an egg, or a crossing signal, or a child sitting in a shopping cart turns out to be a portal into the unexpected. These poems are about things that seem dire or misconceived-a nephew's death, a detour into the wrong profession-but which are redeemed through reconstruction in poetry. Organized around quotes from Isaac Watts, the poems tackle big questions and small oddities with equal force, starting with Watts' prayer to "Let every creature rise and bring/peculiar honors to our King." Each poem is a "peculiar honor" - a look through the ordinary to those strange, difficult, and triumphant things that poetry reveals.

Sharon Cumberland Sharon Cumberland was born in Schenectady, New York. Her peregrinations through universities, jobs, psychotherapy, and an Episcopalian religious order led her to poetry. She has traveled in the United States and abroad, and lived for a time in Rome, Italy where she developed a love of art, architecture, and opera. In New York City she had careers in arts management and education. Currently she is an Associate Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Seattle University.

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