Slant Light is a collection of poems marking the debut of New London author Jim Pearce. The book has been acclaimed by no less a poet than Pit Pinegar, who writes, “Jim Pearce’s introduction to poetry was the music of after-dinner recitations at his grandfather’s Midwest farmhouse table. It was poetry as poetry was originally intended to be — passed on from one person to another. It was poetry that was as natural a part of daily life as the hard work and hearty meals of the farm. Pearce’s own poetry attests to the naturalness of and need for poetry in a contemporary life. Whether a poem comes out of a close observation of the natural world, is a meditation on human interconnectedness, or an inquiry into a timeless spiritual question, Pearce’s images both startle and satisfy. His poems are authentic and concise, and they demonstrate his ease in landscapes both external and internal. By turn—and often all at once—his poems are poignant, smart, humorous, and profound. Jim Pearce is a poet who sees his world clearly: he wonders at it, brings wonder to it, deplores it from time to time, and loves it truly. I am always amazed by the power he is able to pack into a few short lines.”

Born in Toledo, Ohio, Jim Pearce has resided in New London, Connecticut for more than fifteen years. He recently retired from the position of Quality Improvement Officer for a non-profit child and family agency in New London. Before that, he was a professional with United Way for thirty years, living in many parts of the country. He remains active in his retirement, serving on the New London Board of Education, engaging in volunteer work, traveling with his wife Janet, and pursuing his writing career vigorously. His poetry has appeared in many national magazines.

The Antrim House seminar room offers notes, ideas for discussion & writing, images, and/or additional poems. Click here to read the seminar offering for Perspective.

Click here to read sample poems.


ISBN: 978-0-9792226-5-8
Length: 60 pages
Binding: 5.5" x 8.5" perfect bound




Words were the sunlight that
dappled the Erwin farm:
the rolling pasture, woods,
wheat fields, the Run that ended
in two flooded mines with
copperas water running from them
into sumac. 

Words at suppertime:
Morgan’s raiders burning up
the Ohio Valley, east beyond the hills.

Words into evening and early morning:
Grandpa’s earliest remembrance of his uncles,
first generation on the farm,
showing him a new lamb
placed in fresh dung to keep it warm.

And from memory: poems,
old poems –
Bryant, Tennyson, Macaulay, Gray. 

The family no longer has the farm,
but we remain lighted by words:
our heritage, our homestead,
binding us.


(New York Times, November 5, 1987)

Daily the dead come, boxed, wrapped in lime-lined sheets,
borne by the day’s detail of prisoners:
unloved –
at least no one claims them.

Children too.
in sneakers, T-shirts, ragged pants.
For them the City That Never Sleeps
cannot spare a waking moment ‘s thought.

They are all placed in an unmarked trench,
sans blessing, sans prayer, save for the sighs
of felons who, at least, have hope
that someone knows they’re here and gives a damn.


Come let us go into the night
And build great bonfires in the dark
By which we hope to entreat the Light
To begin his creep back to our darkened life.

Let us so circle, sing and bark
Within the great full moon’s approving sight
That inner bonfires glow continuously
And slowly brighten the corners of our hearts
Ultimately to bring warmth, clarity and light
That forever banishes this long night.


Today’s Prelude was Bach’s Arioso
played on cello –
a single, stately line of melody
clear and classic as fine glass.

Contrapuntal to it
was our ground bass:
friends greeting friends,
children squirming in the pews,
last minute maneuvers of the
black and white-robed choir.

Over all
the Arioso moved unperturbed.

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