Monday, October 9, 2023

Sofia Starnes

Sofia Starnes is the author of six poetry collections, including The Consequence of Moonlight (2018, Paraclete) and Fully into Ashes (2011, Wings Press) and is a former Poet Laureate of Virginia. I know her best from her role as Poetry Editor at Anglican Theological Review, where she served from 2007 to 2020.

She was born and raised in The Philippines, speaking Spanish at home, and English at school. While in her teens, her family left for Spain, to escape the Marcos dictatorship. She took a degree in English Philology while in Spain, eventually married an American, and moved to New York.

Sofia Starnes recently told Fare Forward about the collection she is currently working on; all of the poems follow a 16th century form called the dizain, consisting of ten lines with ten beats per line. The following poem, which first appeared in Plough, is from this new manuscript.


Oh, to imagine I’m shielding You, when You’re
secure as a chant in a red hymnal,
hope of our eyes. You step away on sure
voices, in a child’s throat made for canticle.

Oh, to dream I’m some ardent sentinel
bearing the moon on my watch, between a church
and a fire, when it’s You who lifts the torch,
clears the tares, so that we might see the stones

pointing home. You pick Your way through the scorch,
calling stragglers— Oh, those dallying bones.

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the author of five poetry collections including Angelicus (2021, Cascade) ― a book of poems written from the point-of-view of angels. His books are available through Wipf & Stock.