Hologlyphs II: Afterlight is an invitation to wander the luminous landscapes of S. K. Yeatts’ demiurgic mind. In these poems, the physical becomes the emotional, coloring the terrain of towns, countrysides, and cities with the deep and enduring pleasures and pains of human love and loss. In this work, the microcosm of an individual’s life and love become the macrocosm of cosmos and history. These poems push the boundaries of illusion and reality. They explore the seasons of love, singing a recurrent song that life after love is longing. These poems are a deep dive into the seas of intellect and faith. They explore the salvific immediacy of the real world. They find solace in the notion that nature is the answer to all creativity dreamed, enacted, or unattained. In this collection, we confront the imminent transience of beauty and truth. We are cajoled through stunning imagery to listen to nature, who speaks in alphas and omegas where meaning and purpose are both lost and found. Yeatts cloisters faith and love in the human heart. He merges passion and intellect, using metaphor and imagery, which simultaneously instruct and illuminate, to create a physics of cyclic energies that are never lost. Yeatts choses action over intellect. He proclaims the sacredness of the natural. Yet he acknowledges the futility of all human endeavor to fulfill the spirit needs of the individual. Hologlyphs II: Afterlight juxtaposes an impossible trinity: the physics of the universe, the faculties of theology and belief, and the reality of the fundamental need for love. Neither the grandeur of the physical world nor the glory of art can make the lonely heart whole. Hologlyphs II: Afterlight plumbs the depths of the dark night of the human soul, challenging theology, philosophy, and science to turn on the light. However, in the last analysis, it is the triumph of requited love, alone, that yields salvation.
– P.C. Scheponik, author of “Psalms to Padre Pio” and four more poetry books.
Reading Hologlyphs II: Afterlight, the latest collection of poems by S. K. Yeatts, is like entering a hidden chamber in a deep, dark wood. There is a haunting silence about these poems, the words on the page (and there are 182 pages, this is no throwaway “chapbook”) fill with deeper and deeper meaning as you read, and give each word the authority of an impassioned whisper in the dark. It is perhaps no coincidence that the first poem is titled “2:22 am.”
The poems roam freely over a wide and varied landscape, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere, mystical, playful, sometimes romantic; often there is a woman in the background, lovingly addressed, seemingly lost and longed for. (Of course it might not be a woman; these are the kind of poems into which a reader can’t help but project all sorts of private thoughts and feelings, fostering the illusion that the poet is speaking, whispering really, just to them.)
One is struck, reading through these varied poems (some a few sentences, others several pages) by the sense of a frozen landscape, frozen and still like the world of a haiku. You are held fast, yet somehow adrift, until the poet plunges in an emotional knife as many poems end with a plea, a direct address to an unseen person, like “I could not wait for you.”
The ghostly sense of living in an ethereal world is expressed vividly in a poem placed early in the collection “Berlin – October,” which includes the line “A ghost among apparitions of men.” That is the world these stunning poems create: a sense that everyone and everything else is a mere apparition, while only the poet — and the reader he allows in — are all that is real.
– Martin Golan, Author of One Night with Lilith and A Note of Consolation for Lucia Jones
S. K. Yeatts book of poetry, Hologlyphs II: Afterlight has an intriguing set of poems, all very rich in imagery with tantalizing nuances of deep meaning. The poems left me with a strong sense of an ancient poetic traveler, carefully walking the land and observing the natural world that surrounds him. The poet does not travel amid the hustle and bustle of a busy city; rather he moves through a world of peace, calm and quiet, frequenting places where civilizations have once existed. Even supposedly busy cities appear abandoned as in “New York Evening – Autumn 1984“.
Everyday events are translated into rich experiences and re-expressed full of tone and colour. Woven in between the imagery exists a mature form of angst that pushes the reader’s curiosity to wonder about the poet’s unfulfilled dreams. There is a sense of reaching for a lost spirituality forever escaping the poet, leaving not a void but resigned comfort. The reader takes on the role of a voyeur, peeking through a small window into the excursions the poet takes through life. However, there is the sense that the poet is the voyeur, peaking at the reader’s life.
There is a sadness of unfulfilled passion permeating some of the poems, yet other poems exalt in a celebration of satisfaction such as in “Late October“. A consistent theme of ghosts runs through many poems, so much that it is as if the poet has the ability to move into the netherworld and look through a diaphanous veil at the real world. Yet the reader always has the sense that the poet is a keen observer, little escapes his reflective gaze; He has a way of connecting his emotional world with the physical landscape that surrounds him as in “Plight and Premonition“.
The poet is like a strange relative who appears in a cassock unannounced, quietly regales the family with tales of the strange world in which he has travelled only to disappear before the dawn with no indication of when he will return.
– Peter Freeman, author of Elements: Twelve Stories and Growth: Poems
The book Hologlyphs II: Afterlight is magnetic and filled with lights, sounds and smells. The multipart work, by S. K. Yeatts speaks volumes about the meditative and even spiritual aspect of time itself, as a premonition of joy. It is a deepest exposition of the fears, angst, love, hope and confusion we all are surrounded and exposed to in our lives. The poems carve out the introspective beauty and strength work carries within itself, and virtuously reflects our world full of magical expectations, which will lead us to salvation, victory and peace we are desperately looking for. Poems answer the inner calling of the readers through their responses, with a brilliant exposition of all our emotions, of all the mysteries all around us.
– David Dephy – A Georgian-American award-winning poet, novelist, multi-media artists, and author of poetry book Eastern Star
In Hologlyphs II: Afterlight, his second book of poetry, visual artist and poet S. K. Yeatts, continues to explore the ineffable relationship between photography and poetry he began in his award-winning first collection, Hologlyphs: Twilight Fields (Kelsay Books). In such diverse places as Greece and Berlin, Tuscany and Japan, San Francisco and Mexico, New York City and Switzerland, Mallorca, Spain and Waco, Texas, Yeatts finds a commonality of emotive experience, the luminous essence of “mysterious grace” and insightful introspection. With ambitious poems like “Three Trios,” “Ten Views of a Moment,” “Sunset Tint,” and “Beyond the Blue Cliff,” he pays homage to T.S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens as well as to the Chinese and Japanese masters who most influenced his own unique interpretation of imagism.
– J.R. Solonche, award-winning poet and authors of numerous poetry books, most recently of Selected Poems 2002-2021.
S.K. Yeatts’ Hologlyphs II: Afterlight is a luminous book of poems that seem to be gathered from the estuary of his senses. Each poem is distilled from the meniscus of shadows, the realm between sleep and waking, a vision from a mirror within a mirror. The principle of the Eternal Return is a golden thread that binds a tapestry of astonishing images drawn from his experience as an artist, the subtlest hues to evoke the past and future which reside as pale ghosts beneath the canvas of the present. Mandelbrot fractals emerge as a spiral of crows, the miniscule Plank Length as an enormous Sūnyatā. A plethora of botanicals dot the landscape of these poems, from the Southwestern desert to the streets of Athens, and a pervasive musicality as voices fall like snowflakes in the Duomo. It is a book that deserves to be read again and again.
– Robert René Galván is a professional musician and poet. He has published 4 collections of poetry (‘Meteors’, ‘Race and Remembrance’, ‘Standing Stones’, and ‘The Shadow of Time’) and has been nominated for Best of Web and the Pushcart Literary Prize.
S. K. Yeatts’ book, Hologlyphs II: Afterlight, his second collection of poems, is one that is not necessarily intended for the novice or casual reader of verse. Nevertheless, each one of his poems is rife with vivid and original imagery. Employing myriad, and sometimes unorthodox metaphors (e.g., “A ruin of bells…” or “your miscarriage of angels”), coupled with the use of symbolism, allusion, sound, light, color (e.g., “Black ash of poppies stiffened in violet snow” or “white villages in a completed red sleep”), and personification (e.g., “A stone wall held a wind of empty streets”), he challenges his audience to interpret and make meaning for themselves. Like an impressionist painter—his works suggest, but do not dictate. Yeatts expects his readership to engage deeply with each poem as they interpret substance and intent. In short, he makes his readers think.
So, if you are looking for a collection of poems that surprise, challenge, and intellectually entertain in unexpected ways through classic as well as novel uses of poetic devices, then Yeatts’ book is for you.
– John Sweeder, a poet and memoirist, author of Untethered Balloons
A marvelous collection of soothing, moving and inspiring works; writings which lead the reader to a place of calm and reflection. Those who genuinely appreciate poetry will be very pleased by the poetry of this already much celebrated author.
– Leon A. Walker, Next Generation Indie Book Awards Judge
Come. Be the guest. Join this artist/poet/traveler on his journey into places you may never visit except by his invitation: Kasha-Katuwe, Sorrel River, Moustier-Sainte-Marie, Chilpancingo, fragments of summer — images held outside of time. A moment of memories, dreams, love and connections – whole images that burn, casting a light beyond the daily horizon, “while the color yet remains.”
– James McGrath: Author of seven books of poetry including: At The Edgelessness Of Light, The Sun Is A Wandering Hunter, and Speaking With Magpies.
An accomplished, sparse collection tinged with melancholy wisdom Incubated in the culture of high modernism – these one-hundred-and-thirty poems draw inspiration from visual art, haikus, ancient landscapes, and the work of Pound, Elliot, and Frost. Yeatts’ new collection is a poetry of the pastoral and quiet places. Although there are plenty of villas and piazzas, cityscapes do not appear here. A sense of contemplation, of living through the mind and the artist’s discerning eye impresses itself upon the reader. The emphasis is on observation and the arresting power of imagery rather than narrative and story.
“You will die again in Greece.
Our hours will return,
And cascades of autumn crocus
Will weep all night along the Plaka.”
A strong declarative is used to great effect in these poems. “Whispered in the
Evening,” the poem quoted above, abstracts the memory of a place and person from
long ago into a repeating series of evening colors, flora, and descriptions of the sky.
There is an austere elegance in the poet’s refusal to reveal information and stoop to
direct description. Atmosphere is conjured but events are hidden. However,
“Whispered” stands out from other similar poems because of the powerful, raw stanza
at its center. “You will die in Greece…” This abrupt, arrogant statement breaks the
flawless surface of the poem—announcing in the present the reality of events which
have already occurred. A crush of emotions are felt in these four lines, heartily
juxtaposed against the rest of the piece.
“After official duties –
I have come to this terrace of clouds
To lose what was found over many years –
And let go what might yet remain.”
For all the lack of narrative in these poems, they retain a paradoxical sense of
direction and movement. “2:22 AM,” the first poem of this book, subverts this
directionality to describe the feeling of stasis, of “Something repeated against
sleeping silvered windows.” Elsewhere, this movement is used to reflect on the
experience of maturity, enlightenment, and spiritual growth.
Since Yeatts’ subjects and concerns are tightly focused around the existential
moments in a life, the infusions of nature offer a welcome cohesive backdrop. This is
a large collection of poems but the appearance of excellent, minimalist haiku-infused
poems such as “Red Wing Blackbirds at Jalama Beach” delights and refreshes with
their strategic placement among the longer works.
Hypnotic imagery and sobering conclusions mark the poems of HOLOGLYPHS
II – Afterlight. Its Eastern inspirations and sharp descriptions will galvanize
poets and poetry lovers alike.
– Warren Maxwell: Independent Poetry Review