I Went Looking for You (2009)


Pure and graceful and deep: it takes much time to come to those three. Here they are. Fragile and objective, the view of the world from here. It is how a person sees when looking. Very clear.
— Fanny Howe
...a very simpatico view of the world, so that I sink into this work as if she were an old friend, catching up on shared points of interest on the best phone connection ever established.

...the turn itself is integral to Lepson’s poetics — turn of the earth, or the slow, eternal return of time and space. Maybe both, but she is committed to the detail of the very present moment, in all its luminosity....she goes “looking for you” in a poem addressed to the departed spirit of Sexton — there are also remarkable elegies, if that’s not too strong a word, for Levertov and Robert Creeley....The humble inward turning to the consonants, between “relax” and “angry,” denotes a typical jump in Lepson’s thought, where sound is always in the service of sense....
— Kevin Killian
These wonderful poems by Ruth Lepson are deeply felt meditations on family, friends, lovers, the people she “can’t leave behind.” The book begins with poems about places, mainly Swampscott, Massachusetts, a town on the ocean that she loves to visit. “Time Line” then makes something like a drawing out of the past, and “Function Theory” suggests a sort of mathematical model of a girl’s thought processes. These are followed by several delicate poems about Ruth’s aging parents and others about deceased friends. This private world is then enlarged, often with humor, to include strangers both overheard and seen, as well as works of art. These are the “things I can name” out of which she makes her life. The last half of the book is a tender and perceptive series of poems about love that persists across disconnections, loss, and time. Idyllic and dissonant scenes are recalled. Dreams prolong the dissolved relationships. And finally, the dreamer wakes up “surrounded with life”.
— Joel Sloman
Much like the places Ruth Lepson affectionately describes in her poems, her themes are timeless. Her words are heart-felt and artfully laid out. The poems are lively in their melancholy and accepting in the face of mortality. Passionately human, I Went Looking for You is a collection that feels at once familiar and astounding.
— Susie Y. Kim, The Harvard Crimson (Read the full review)
...Ruth writes wistful poems of intimate atmosphere observed with notational spontaneity and subtle metaphor.
— Scott Ruescher, The Cambridge Chronicle
Overheard conversations, random thoughts, and the delicate nature of relationships find a place in Lepson’s “I Went Looking for You.”
— Jan Gardner, The Boston Sunday Globe
I Went Looking for You implies a relationship between the seeker and the found, calling to mind the games of hide and seek we play with family, friends and lovers. Ruth’s poems reveal the fragility and courage required to participate in this unspoken sport, at times disclosing that what is found may not be pleasant. Exploring nature and prayer, the mysterious intellection of words, the messages of dreams, this work searches not only for the flesh and blood of human beings, but also for the inscrutable, unknowable— rendering this collection of poems classic, enduring. Buy it, without reservation.
— Mary Ann Sullivan, The Tower Journal

Paperback: 82 pages
Publisher: BlazeVOX Books
Published: 2009
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934289817
Cover Art: Roy Stevens