Silver Roses

This posthumous collection, Wetzsteon's fourth book of poems, emphasizes her gift of formal grace. Poems of love, solitude, and fear are infused with her desire to revel in sound and structure, from acrostics to abecedarians. James Longenbach writes "Silver Roses is a book about 'the things that matter.'... Listening to these poems, we mourn the loss of the poet who made them so lovingly, a poet capable of harnessing every possibility the English language afforded her. ...'Now I love the god but not the going,' Wetzsteon wrote of her life-long romance with autumn. These poems aren't going anywhere; they are themselves the things that matter."

Much of Silver Roses deals with the constant presence of both sorrow and delight and the poet's negotiation between the two. In the poems, beauty often prevails. From "Septimus":

... for every tragedy that pounces at glad gatherings, there are also radiant beauties

lurking at the edges of cataclysm, glints of vigor fringing all endings—

This book review originally appeared in American Poets.