The Lost Body of Childhood: Poems

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Copper Beech Press, 1979 - Poetry - 56 pages

Coming-of-age poems by a Baptist minister's son who shed his childhood faith in heaven and followed his heart on a pilgrimage to a love both erotic and spiritual, mundane and mystical. By turns meditative, sardonic, joyful, and whimsical, these poems record a journey from anger, cynicism, and uncertainty to understanding, forgiveness, and peace.

"David Dayton has devised a lucid and serene mysticism of the real. Time and again in these poems he connects self, fellows, Earth, universe, past and present, employing a vigorous imagery, asserting—against all that can and does undermine it—a self of arresting wholeness that thinks, feels and risks knowing. The language is a medium stripped for interaction yet richly sensuous. The book is a reliquary of significant and felt events, of a self becoming a soul."  --Patricia Wilcox

"Uncertainty, faith, and our erotic identity are the central concerns of David Dayton's impressive first book of poems…. A large measure of Dayton's achievement in The Lost Body lies in his construction of a mythology which gives an important—in fact central—place to human ignorance and limitation. … Uncertainty and ignorance paradoxically hold out a new hope for the imagination. Indeed, human limitations are seen as the source of liberation….The final and title poem of the collection, "The Lost Body of Childhood" is a remarkable conclusion to a remarkable book. The poem has nothing to do with nostalgia for the past: it is, rather, a spiritual and erotic summons. It holds out the apocalyptic hope that man may be reunited with the natural world in a new, and imagined order." --John Martone

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Amazing Grace
Dreaming Back
Wind and Strategy

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