Prayers, promises, and prophecies are all found in John Clarke’s new book of poems. Reading this becomes a spiritual practice, a path we walk with the poet’s devotion to language and its best humanitarian use. Each poem has a theme that causes us to go deeper into ourselves; and could be subject for rich discussion. Clarke’s life of contemplation and learning culminates in this stunning array of works to read, and reread, for delight, comfort, and gratification.
— Grace Cavalieri, Maryland Poet Laureate
“Communion, prayer, healing, compassion, radiance”— these are some registers of the poems in The Breeze at Dawn that evoke the sensuous taste of words themselves. Though “Hope can neither be affirmed nor denied,” John Clarke writes, his is a poetry of the “Wonder of Be-ing” and, at bottom, of sacramental joy “we go on catching glints of all our lives / despite accidents, / wars, diseases, too early deaths, / fallings out of families, friends, foes, and lovers.”
— Merrill Leffler, author of Mark the Music: Poems