The Kingfisher’s Reign, a volume of prose poems, is Jonas Zdanys’ fortieth published book. It is a mature aesthetic vision, a chronicle of what the poet has seen and what he has imagined presented through many perspectives and narrative voices. In poems that explore the full circle of the seasons and of a sensibility moving to fullness, Zdanys seeks to understand the dimensions of being human and to acknowledge that what we are and what we can know lie deep within and also far outside the limits of storytelling and language. The poems are distinctive for their crisp and clean images and wonderfully engaging and fresh metaphors, for details both present and remembered, which together define a carefully observed and meticulously presented world, a place in which the human spirit, in the face of defeat and loss and triumph and change, in the passing of the years, remains a constant, resilient, and powerful presence.
cover photo by Ineke Kamps
About Zdanys’ poetry:
“The predominant tone of his work is elegiac. He yearns…for an evasive permanency. Anguish for communion permeates much of the poetry – the longing for recovery, the allure of distant memory, the echoes and resonances of an earlier time. The poems reveal a searching intelligence, melancholy, aching for a new integrity. They are as much love poems as nature poems, reminiscent of the best of Rainer Maria Rilke and Peter Levi, sometimes playful, sometimes fantastical, sometimes the stuff of dreams. Zdanys’ poems drink generously from the wells of Impressionism and the luminous density of philosophy. These are difficult poems – evocative, tantalizing, embedded in their own mystery. And they invite us into a world of shifting memory and Proustian wonder. Tough. But worth it.”
-Michael Higgins, Canadaeast.com/Telegraph-Journal
“Zdanys joins words into unexpectedly meaningful formations in which the philosophical thought overshadows the beginning of the feeling. His poetry is intellectual and speaks of the beginning of the beginnings of the mortal,… a world of mirages where the contours of the visible world disappear… The crossing of the border is dangerous: the subject approaches the philosophical state of nothingness, but cannot experience it to the end, because he is alive and living. Yet, while he is alive, the human has the right to be unfinished. This is the state of being ‘in the doorway’ and the key to his poetry.”
-The Vilnius Review