“Each word brings insistence:
the world does stretch on, to the end, in snow.”
– From Route 501 South
The Seed Vault
Lucas Jacob’s debut collection contains something for every reader. A trio of sonnets encompassing both the 18th-century missions and the 20th-century dance halls of San Antonio; a section-long poem sequence that begins and ends in a prison yard in Stalin’s gulag, and in between travels the world in the company of history’s greatest agricultural botanist; a series of playful interrogations of the rhetoric of the 45th President of the United States. These poems honor the need to find the words for experiences, thoughts, and feelings that exist at, or just beyond, the edge of language.
“…the last blush of evening light at the pointExcerpt From “Puppy Love” in The Seed Vault
where the river meets the sky and seems
to run from dusk back into the day, ferrying
ribbons of gold upstream to where, unbelieving,
we watch from the banks the currency
of time returning, if only to our eyes…”
Praise for The Seed Vault
Luke Jacob’s The Seed Vault is a collection of “little worlds/ born of the hand’s Big Bang.” These poems bend and turn like light through stained glass.
There is an extraordinary balance to Lucas Jacob’s poetry, a sense that the poet’s role is to account for experience in all its variety with deliberate, patient attention. Incidental observations—school children playing in a dinosaur’s footprint or the poet himself accepting with the old men around him the sway of a Budapest tram—are approached with the same attentive but lilting verse. Natural beauty and the beauty of love’s intimacies are drawn together. This is a remarkable book.
Luke Jacob’s The Seed Vault presses us to consider a self that exists both as controlled interiority and an outward-spinning seed, rooting itself in larger, global purpose. Jacob reminds his reader that acts of compassion are forces against “the blows of men,” and we see that through the extension of the self, in acts like poem-making or planting, we can feed and be fed.
Jacob’s poetry does what so much Trump writing fails to do: cut through…visceral pro/con reactions and examine the president through the lens of language. It’s an entirely unique perspective…that demands to be read.
The editors of Sequestrum
About the Author
Lucas Jacob is the author of the full-length poetry collection The Seed Vault (Eyewear Publishing, 2019) and the chapbooks A Hole in the Light (Anchor & Plume Press, 2015) and Wishes Wished Just Hard Enough (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019). His poetry and prose have appeared in print journals including Southwest Review, Hopkins Review, and RHINO, and online in journals including Valparaiso Poetry Review, Sequestrum, and Jet Fuel Review. He is a high school teacher and writing-instruction consultant whose career has brought him many wonderful things, including the honor of serving as a Fulbright Fellow in Budapest, Hungary.