Her Joy Becomes (Paperback)
Andrea Potos's poems are permeated by an expansive sense of kinship. Blood family are precious, but equally intimate are luminary writers with whom she finds soul connections. Although most of these figures are physically absent, all are a vital presence in Potos's "rooms of thought." She recommends (and practices) not getting snagged in appearances but "look ing] slant" to find what is enduring. This is what she calls "graz ing] with your consciousness" to gather joy. This is no simplistic pursuit. Rather, she's in agreement with C.S. Lewis's insight that "joy is the serious business of heaven." Potos understands that it takes committed work to choose and own joy. These poems involve aging parents, cancer, dread, death, grief, funerals-the hard times that generate hard questions. But they also celebrate the sustaining "underpinnings of dailiness"-laundry, coffee, washing dishes, brushing hair, bird song, vegetables, floral dresses. As those who are now absent become valued mental companions, she discovers "a peace whisper ing] to her...a different happiness unfolding." The gift of these poems is in how Potos thoughtfully weighs what is given and what is taken, how life both fulfills and disappoints, and determines to let joy keep her. "Breathing deeply is simple, and hope is the natural choice."