“Greg Miller has the rare ability to make his devotional energies seem felt and available to all of us, in poems that are unlike anyone else’s in their intelligence and passionate meditation and mediation of the Christian myth. He's a latter-day, wised-up Adam who despite his exile from the garden can’t suppress his desire to praise. He sees the natural world with a clear, joyous eye and achieves his own sense of supernatural abundance from the purged accuracy of his descriptions.”
“In Watch we see Greg Miller at the top of his powers, inspired by the world of art and the world of nature, by moments of pain and moments of joy, by relationships and by solitude. These poems are rich and varied and haunting. They are, to use Eudora Welty’s words, ‘made by the imagination for the imagination.’”
“Time after time, in poem after poem in this book, the brave colors of the creatures of this God-given world are celebrated as they survive, sometimes barely survive, or not, as the light turns: a flower awakening; an oak tree splitting in a storm; a loon diving; a tom turkey strutting; a rock lizard flecked with rocklike black and gray; human beings—a saint in a painting about who she was and what she suffered; Dinka refugees in a church, sharing a meal, and dancing; the fragments in a field of a long-gone culture, left there to teach us what they were. These beautiful attentive poems keep watch.”
“Miller explores the shared terrain of the spiritual and the quotidian through carefully wrought poems that also reveal a great depth of emotional intelligence. The author clearly has an affinity for poetry that has come to be called metaphysical—a noted literary critic, he recently published George Herbert’s ‘Holy Patterns’—but he wears his scholarship lightly.”
Greg Miller is professor of English at Millsaps College. He is the author of Rib Cage and Iron Wheel, both published by the University of Chicago Press.