The poems in Marjorie Stelmach's Falter attempt to comprehend what Soren Kierkegaard in Fear and Trembling deems our ""highest passion"" faith--a task that he claims has remained the same for each generation and ""is always adequate for a person's lifetime."" In the opening section, ""Inscrutability & Error,"" the poems consider an assortment of obstacles--misinterpretations, distractions, self-delusions, dead ends, and excuses--that complicate this task, leaving the various seekers in frustration, even despair. The title poem, which makes up the central section, follows a woman through the first difficult days of a silent retreat, guided by readings from The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers, contemplation of the natural world, and meditation on her own personal history. The poems of the final section, ""The Breaking Strain of Grace,"" gather the hard-won bits of understanding arrived at in parts one and two and apply them to the sorrows and losses of later life. Although the pilgrimage toward a steadfast faith must continue, these poems show the seeker arriving at some provisional faiths that may serve as she nears the conclusion of her allotted lifetime. ""What seems timelessly human in these deftly articulate poems and their encounter with loss is an enduring longing for transformation. Body and heart are mortal, the world implacably secular, and no secular goal satisfies the longing to transcend the body and, paradoxically, come to grace and gratitude within it. And yet it is through the sensory body that so many of these poems join with the larger world. It is through Stelmach's skill with word and image that we enter a world enriched by solitude and darkness willingly. These poems widen the boundaries of solitude and allow us to hear and to see and to touch elemental, provisional truths."" --Margaret Gibson, Author of Broken Cup ""To enter this book is to slow time. It is to pay attention. It is to reflect on love and death, to read the runes of our own cells, to see shadows slide across a lawn, to feel the membrane thinning between the sight of a sleek roan mare and the transcendent. Falter offers a break from our speed-maddened, fame-hungry culture, a pause to consider what it means to be human now, in the moment. I am delighted that I lingered to watch with Marjorie Stelmach how a 'creaking wheel of starlings / suddenly buckles and re-mends.' To read this book was, for me, to gain back my own 'every morning: this slow machine / of on-goingness.'"" --Jeanne Murray Walker, Author of Helping the Morning: New and Selected Poems Marjorie Stelmach is the author of four previous volumes of poems, Night Drawings (awarded the Marianne Moore Prize), A History of Disappearance, Bent upon Light, and Without Angels. A selection of her poems received the first Missouri Biennial Award. Her work has recently appeared in Boulevard, Cincinnati Review, Florida Review, Gettysburg Review, Image, New Letters, Poet Lore, ONE, Relief, and Tampa Review.