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Saturday, October 01, 2011

Thank you for a stardust-sprinkled review...

Greg Langley, longtime books editor at The Baton Rouge Review and much admired in that increasingly rare role by my various publishers, has written the most marvelous review of The Throne of Psyche I would be a sad creature indeed if such judgment did not make me happy and give me wings to fly over the moon a time or two.

He has stayed with my books for many years, writing them about them in reviews with care and insight.  His reviews have affirmed a faith in my abilities throughout this time, and that has been a gift that has meant much to me--that has encouraged me when I felt that my books were invisible.  I am more grateful to him than can be said in a mere blog.

Thank you to the wonderful Mr. Langley!


Clips from the review:

The first portion of this collection, the part about Psyche, is just one of several that comprise 60 poems. All deal with perceptions that move into and out of reality. Youmans is a traditionalist in her use of forms, and her work will delight those who enjoy classical poetry with direction and structure, yet her strong and inventive metaphors and similes evoke an otherness that only Coleridge attained.

* * *

There is more, much more. Some are wry and a bit sweet, but there is a fierce tone that is apparent throughout these poems, and her “Rue for A.E. Housman,” referring to the English poet who wrote of his unrequited homosexual love of another man who died young, is at once sad and cautionary and slightly bitter.

To have one love for all your life
And as dear as breath;
To lose the shape of what you loved
In distance, then in death;

Yes, what a funny world it is,
Where this is not the worst
That can happen — and daily does.
The mouth that did not thirst

For yours is dust, and you are not.
Yet heedless of all doom
The children shout immortal joys;
Again the roses bloom.

Sad, cautionary and slightly bitter, but wholly beautiful and brilliant. Youmans is a writer of rare ability whose works will one day be studied by serious students of poetry.


Ah, I enjoyed that lovely golden sensation!  And now I must go back to fussing with the final version of Thaliad because it plus page proofs of A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage (they arrived a day ago) are both due in two weeks...


  1. Wow, how marvelous, and how thoroughly well-deserved!

  2. Thank you, Dale--and how lovely of you to say that!

    Just remembered your eye poem and the tags on the mattress...

  3. My words exactly, Dale. We are lucky to be at the scene of invention so frequently.

  4. Hey, Robinka--

    Glad you liked!

  5. Greg Langley is spot on.
    - 'Youmans is a writer of rare ability whose works will one day be studied by serious students of poetry.
    - '
    I like that man. I like this review.
    I like the poetry.


  6. Marly - you really DO breath the life of now into a traditional approach to poetry.
    I think that is... fantastic and magical.

  7. Bravo, wonderful review and comments too! You deserve to feel that glow, Marly.

  8. Paul,

    I like that comment! I like the other! XD Thanks...

  9. marja-leena and zephyr,

    Thank you both for the cheer! Have a pinch of stardust!

  10. Many congratulations, Marly! Wonderful stuff.

  11. Clare,

    Thanks--we all need a little encouraging starlight along the way.

    Shall come and e-visit you as soon as I finish my dual deadlines...


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.