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Stan Rice, who died in December 2002, was a poet of unique, uncompromising vision. Joy and brutality, faith and faithlessness, the beauty of truth and, at times, of untrut--these opposing forces come together one last time in his final book of poetry, a haunting collection of psalms.
Beginning with his “Psalm 151”--that is, taking up where the Bible leaves off--Rice calls us to his own kind of prayer and contemplation. “Lord, hear me out,” he begins. “At the point of our need / The storehouse shares its shambles.” An elegant, passionate, tragic lament for our condition, Rice’s homemade psalms exhort us indirectly to accept our fate--the world as it is. In the brave, unshrinking manner that has characterized his whole career, Rice has written a profound farewell.