View Cover Order a Copy

Price: €12.00

Order a Copy

Click here
An Ink Like Early Twilight
March 2015

Click here
A Stone To Carry Home
May 2018

We Lit the Lamps Ourselves

Andrea Potos

ISBN: 978-1-907056-92-5

Page Count: 74

Publication Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cover Artwork: © Melissad10 |

About this Book

"Poets light but Lamps –/ Themselves – go out –," declared Emily Dickinson.  Only those who burned with "vital Light" become a lens for the ages.  The works of revered women writers, particularly the Brontë sisters, Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath, have been such a lens for Andrea Potos.  Her poems in this collection pursue the trail of creative genius in their lives.

These vibrant, impressionistic poems are haunted by lives long past whose voices still ring clear and strong.  Celebrating the attending creative “presence of something more than myself,” they are “reminders/of what survives –/creation’s flames that gutter,/flare.”

Author Biography

Andrea Potos is the author of three poetry collections:  Abundance to Share With the Birds (Finishing Line Press, 2010), Yaya’s Cloth (Iris Press, 2007) which received an Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry from the Wisconsin Library Association, and The Perfect Day (Parallel Press, 1998).  She has also received the James Hearst Poetry Prize from the North American Review, and the Sow’s Ear Poetry Review Prize.  Her poems appear widely in journals and anthologies in print and online, including: Poetry East, Southern Poetry Review Women’s Review of Books, Atlanta Review, Prairie Schooner, Rosebud, Poemeleon, Blue Fifth Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Beloved on the Earth (Holy Cow! Press), Claiming the Spirit Within (Beacon Press), A Fierce Brightness (Calyx Books), and I Feel A Little Jumpy Around You (Simon & Schuster). She works as a bookseller at A Room of One’s Own Bookstore in Madison, Wisconsin where she lives with her husband, daughter and puppy.  

Read a sample from this book

ON THE MOORS, The Brontës 

Some shun it here–
call it tree-starved, stunted,
drizzled in mist.

In untrammeled air, curlews cry.
Over bilberry, gorse,
spikes of purple heather,
the earth is a bog that erupted one day–
under blackened skies, peat and mud flowed for miles, 
swept away bridges, suffocated fish.
(Papa preached that God unsheathed
his sword, brandished it over our heads.
Be thankful we are spared, he cried.)

Indeed, this ground is a living being
that breathes through our soles,

the air
an infinite undone page,
the wind the voice that dictates. 


Weren’t we the consummate

the Nobodies behind
Ellis Bell, anonymous.

In our kitchens, at our desks,
did you see souls at white heat–no tremblers

in the world’s storm-troubled spheres,
a constancy of Hosts above us.

We Lit the Lamps–ourselves
went out–Sisters

(as it should be)
in Eternity now.

Copyright Andrea Potos © 2012

Salmon Poetry Home Page The Arts Council Salmon Poetry Home Page The Arts Council