From Library Journal
Cairns (Figures of the Ghost, Univ. of Georgia, 1994) is a religious poet, a spiritual poet, but most importantly a serious poet. He is not given to rehashing scripture or invoking prayer?he does both, in his own way, but in service to a greater goal. These poems seek not answers but understanding and an appreciation of life's complexities; the result is not so much a poetry of testimony as of investigation. Cairns reconsiders the biblical narratives that define his being in works like "The Death of Moses," "The Sacrifice of Isaac," "Jonah's Imprisonment," and "The Turning of Lot's Wife." In the latter poem, Marah is "unlike her husband" and remains faithful: "For even as the man fled the horrors of a city's conflagration...Marah saw that she could not turn her back on even one doomed child of the city, but must turn her back instead on the saved." Recommended.?Louis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia
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Scott Cairns has the imaginative power and verbal grace to resurrect a deadened world-relocating the sacred in the body where it belongs. -- Eleanor Wilner
Scott Cairns is one of the best poets alive. -- Annie Dillard
Writing in fervor-not piety-as a poet writes in verse-not doggerel-Cairns brings to mind Nietzche's remark that we have Art that we may not perish from Truth. Cairns has Religion that he may not perish from Poetry. -- Richard Howard