Brett Foster is Associate Professor of English at Wheaton College. His first poetry collection, The Garbage Eater (2011) has now appeared from TriQuartely Books/Northwestern University Press.
His literary influences come from a variety of sources. He’s eager to praise the work of such renaissance poets as Milton, Spenser, Shakespeare and Marlowe — but then again if you were to speak of such mid-century voices as Charles Williams, Owen Barfield and C.S. Lewis (Foster is Poetry Editor at the Lewis-inspired journal Sehnsucht) he’d engage you in a lively discussion. Similarly he is an enthusiast of diverse contemporary poets including Seamus Heaney and Richard Wilbur. Foster’s academic love of literature shows itself strongly in his own verse; his work as a literary critic also reflects his wide interests.
The following poem first appeared in Image.
Devotion: For Our Bodies
Yes, Love, I must confess I’m at it again,
struggling in vain with my Greek declensions.
I know it’s common, but I want to show
you what I found in Praxeis Apostolon,
chapter one, verse twenty-four: this exquisite
epithet, kardiognosta. Forget
briefly its context, that the Eleven,
genuflecting, implore the Lord to give
wisdom. Between Justus and Matthias,
who replaces Judas? Let this word pass
to private sharpness toward love’s dominion.
Let me kiss it across your collarbones—
knower of hearts. Its sweetness fills my mouth
and our twin lots, as if they’d chosen both.
Posted with permission of the poet.
Read my Ruminate review of The Garbage Eater here.
Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: www.dsmartin.ca