Clandestine: A Classic Book of Poetry
by Amy Ritchie

"As the light of the full moon shines over the earth
I look into the never-ending expanse of darkness."

In this book, emotional cycles—such as grief, questioning, self-doubt, and embarrassment—parallel natural ones. Caterwauls of thunder mimic human questioning. Dawn and golden sun act as angelic forces providing light, and crickets become the prelude to incoming storms. Eventually, this collection depicts a world where diaries take the form of old friends, and libraries transform into sanctuaries of beautiful confusions where “a truly good book will make you not want to leave.” By the collection’s end, readers have traveled through pumpkin patches and autumn gatherings in order to enter small celebrations of winter, oceans, and the prayerful Christmas season. Here, the steamed breath from a winter’s walk reminds one of his or her finite existence, and icicles celebrate their fleeting life with the day’s warm glow.

With long and short poems that sometimes act as prayers, yet more often like brief, observational snapshots, the world and its everyday occurrences simplify into more palatable portions. This book casts concise spiritual and existential insights against nature’s grand canvas with the acknowledgment that humans, as complex beings, “live in many worlds / like stardust.” In Frost-like meditations, even simple shoreline beacons receive recognition as faithful keepers, reminding readers that even the most unembellished existence serves a meaningful purpose to someone or something. Recollections of the past act as reminders for the future, and small blessings remind readers that “being impatient is not a crime.” Beginning poetry readers and writers will appreciate this book for its accessibility and tone reminiscent of some of the greatest American poetry. Meanwhile, readers searching for Zen-like wisdom and guidance will find it modernly packaged in this collection.

Return to USR Home