“Grace” by Oliver Schroer


Grace” by the late Oliver Schroer is one of few songs I listen to frequently (sometimes on repeat) for its ability to astound, console, inspire, humble. “Grace” to temper a swampy sense of pettiness. I don’t sleep well. I worry and excite too much about disappearances. Maybe I’ve read too many accounts of the Bermuda Triangle, spontaneous combustion, Atlantis, hitchhiking ghosts, Anasazi cliff dwellings abandoned, black holes like greedy mouths near Earth, etc.

Of course, one need not be so preoccupied with such esoteric thoughts to be sideswiped by vanishing. It’s worse, often too unbelievably real, getting news on any given day—individuals, peoples, cities, languages, animals, art . . . gone or on their way out.

I’ve listened to Mr. Schroer’s “Grace” (among many other nothing-faked songs like “Field of Stars” and “A Thousand Thank-Yous”) countless times not just for technique and composure—immediately apparent—but because his skill and conviction is a vehicle traveling so much emotional territory.

Most of all, “Grace” is a favorite song because it reminds me to shut up; which, perhaps . . . see, I was just about to start talking again.

-Franke Varca

bio pic collar column 3Franke Varca has received the “Discovery” / Boston Review prize and two Academy of American Poets prizes. Some recent poems of his appear in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and Poet Lore.

Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?

Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

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