“Dan Flore’s first book of poetry, lapping water, presents the voice of that quiet, nature-attuned man who observes without judging his own changes and the changes of those closest to him. These are unassuming and personal poems that do not partake of the ironic, subversive, rootless postmodern, but instead look to romanticism, imagism, and even further back, to the timelessness and transparency of such emotive lyrical poets as Po Chu’i and Tao Ch’ien a thousand and more years ago. …lapping water was published this year, with sensitive and whimsical black-and-white illustrations by Andrew Amuso. Flore is a regular contributor to The Critical Poet, and this reviewer has seen the development of his poetry toward increased power, structure, and confidence over a period of several years. He has written that he has been ‘born and bred’ on poetry workshopping boards, which are becoming alternatives to academic publishers and provide a freedom to experiment and grow without pressure or any insistence on the current fashion; and Flore is an example of the kind of young writer who flourishes in such an environment.”
New York Times bestselling authorPamela O’ShaughnessyTriggerfish Literary Review, Issue 10, November 2012.
“The title of Dan Flore’s first book of poems, lapping water, may be a bit misleading. When I think of lapping water, I think of peacefulness and drifting summer days. And yes, there are such images, such conjuring, in this book. But now think of that ‘lapping water’ as all the water in the world brought together in a great tsunami, strong enough to move the earth. In this book the images of water are preternatural, able to cool a fever or capsize a ship, to etch into concrete or fill the senses with the taste of a lover. Lapping water by Dan Flore is an astounding first book, and heralds the promise of a brilliant future, perhaps even greatness.”
author of Somewhere Between and Finding the Words.
The title of Dan Flore’s new book of poems lapping water beckons to the reader like a first invitation to the ball, happy to be asked, yet unsure of what might happen. The title and cover picture by Andrew Amuso imply calm before, and hopefully a healing salve after, a tumultuous time… This first book is an inspiration, with complex universal themes any reader can relate to. They leave me with a mix of feelings including foreboding, strength, and endurance and the title ‘lapping water’ offers truth with resilience, something we could all use more of in our lives. I for one am glad to have these poems by my side. They are like a life raft I can return to over and over again.”
poet and workshop facilitator.
“The world is polarized. This country is eating itself alive –and perhaps it is the inevitable numbing that makes those of us who can’t escape, hungry to read someone who feels! I found that in lapping water. It is honest. In ‘something stole my desire…’, ‘bee of good cheer’ and a few others, I was reminded of Leonard Cohen. A few poems I felt I should have written myself. The reader always inserts themselves into the work, so I don’t know if the degree of pain Flore felt in childhood came from him or from me. But what a beautiful accomplishment, making me wonder – having such a close collaboration with a reader. And then love and loss. I don’t understand NOT feeling the intensity Flore conveys, but either it’s rare to feel, or writers are rarely honest. I felt it all. I have felt it all. As a woman in her sixties, I know loss. Flore took a chance with the art, and it worked. It is as different and unique as his poetry is and it flows.”
Sally Maria Renata,
writer and folk artist, 2009-2010 poetry fellow, South Carolina Arts Commission.
..the fact that this is a self-published work should not put anyone off from exploring Flore’s work, as there are some good poems to be found here. Opening poem ‘tap water’ announces the aquatic imagery that recurs in many of the subsequent poems, as well as showing that Flore can present us with a striking image: ‘I am only the dash / between years on the tombstone / a fear tumor’. Fittingly, water imagery in this collection flows between different associations. It can be playful and tactile, as it is at the end of ‘I would like to wake up in the ocean’: ‘I’d just like to be a wave / climbing up her thigh’. Or it may invoke water’s traditionally expiatory function, like in ‘to Red’ (‘may I wash my blood from your feet / so you could dance / through the years between us?’) or ‘upon seeing my father’s blood’ (‘the rain can only wash away what it can touch’)”…”Ultimately, the most compelling feature of lapping water is its intimacy. The danger for the lyric ‘I’ to lapse into solipsism is averted in Flore’s collection because his poems frequently reach out to draw a ‘you’ into their imaginative space.”
editor of Eunoia Review.