Harkening back to a bygone era’s tradition of popular poetry in general-interest magazines, while also reflective of contemporary understandings of concepts like wholeness and self-care, Twilight Awakening the Stars presents the poet as a guide, easing readers into the night in lines that prioritize clarity above all else. In fact, “Into the Night” itself blends direct address, an unambiguous invitation, and an encouraging call for repose: “When your noisy day / Gives way // To/ Quietude // Be with me / Peacefully,” it reads.
Burns’s poems aren’t the kind to be pored over and unlocked. As he urges readers to “Gaze heavenly / And be / Completely // One / With the light / Of the night,” the lines edge toward the devotional or meditation, especially in gently urgent poems like “Let Love Come” and “Faith,” whose titles accurately forecast their messages. Occasionally, a mystery sneaks through, as in “Matrix”’s mildly erotic likening of the world to a body, or within the uncertain depths of “The Wading Pool,” but, overall, Burns’s verse maintains its tone and promise throughout: These insistent, impassioned poems nudge us to pause and relish light in the dark.
Takeaway: A direct, inviting collection urges readers to gaze heavenly and embrace the night.
Great for fans of: Tyler Knott Gregson’s Illumination, SK WIlliams’s Love By Night.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A