the award-winning author of Eros in Autumn
When the poems in Steven Schild’s new collection are at their best (and his batting average is pretty darned good), they tackle our primary work: ‘being human,’ something that too often these days seems to be regarded as a sort of silliness. He writes, We kiss and commiserate / we cling without question to even our oddest others, / we comfort like angels, / like lower-case gods. These poems celebrate at least as often as they mourn, soothe more than they fume. That the reader is allowed to participate in the journey is no small gift.—John Reinhard is the author of On the Road to Patsy Cline and Burning the Prairie.
These Humans is a symphonic presentation of us as a species. In parts 1-1V Schild examines us under the magnifying glass of the journalist he was and teacher he is—the images are clear, the language is crisp, and the lyricism is deft. There is a tone of disdain appropriate to the times in which we live; Schild presents the empirical evidence as he has witnessed it. In parts V and VI the voice of the poet takes over: the poems go much deeper to the soul of who we are. The responsible and articulate public witness becomes more personal, sharing (our) fears and vulnerabilities, our moments of joy and quiet delight. There is a balance in this book—of citizen and next-door-neighbor, of husband, son, grandson and father, of fellow traveler, of journalist and poet. And always the poetry exhibits an unerring ear. Thank you, Steve Schild for composing and sharing this orchestration!—Ken McCullough, Poet Laureate of Winona, Minnesota, is the author of Dark Stars and Broken Gates.