Poem at NAA:
- Charis in the World of Wonders 2020
- The Book of the Red King 2019
- Maze of Blood 2015
- Glimmerglass 2014
- Thaliad 2012
- The Foliate Head 2012
- A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage 2012
- The Throne of Psyche 2011
- Val/Orson 2009
- Ingledove 2005
- Claire 2003
- The Curse of the Raven Mocker 2003
- The Wolf Pit 2001
- Catherwood 1996
- Little Jordan 1995
- Short stories and poems
- Honors, praise, etc.
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Friday, July 23, 2021
Rain-poem, rumination, Russian
Poem at NAA:
I'd forgotten this poem by the time it appeared. I've written stories with women in trees, and wrote a whole novel once that kept a woman high in a redwood. I've written poems that were self-portraits-as-dryad, and trees often invade my lines. So it wasn't surprising to reread and find that by the close I had found it worthwhile to communicate with a tree.
Thoreau crept in, who also loves trees, and also those wandering Walden-girls who pick up radiant leaves. I suppose the whole poem is a sort of gathered leaf that "improved the time." And who I am but one of those girls, grown older? A noticing sort of girl who picks up leaves.
And what does it mean to see the a tree as the axis mundi, the center of the turning world? The tree from that mountain garden of Eden, the knowledge of good and evil, turned by legend into the cross on the hill that drips blood onto the buried skull of Adam? I hadn't remembered the poem, and so was surprised that the leaves become a series of radiant words.
Well, it was pleasant to see it again. And to remember the moment of stopping to stare at the corner of Fair St. and Church St. That rain-slicked, brilliant tree! It seems a lonelier poem than I expected when I began to read. All that saying of logoi at the end, and yet the woman is alone, alone in her invisibly-walled, rainless room. Perhaps she had to be lonely to know that all things are speaking.
* * *
I've only been writing poems of late because some parts of life demand such large chunks of time devoted to family that it seems impossible to plan a novel. But I keep thinking of an idea for another long poem like Thaliad. Though I never thought about Thaliad before I woke up with the story in my head, ready to jump out onto the page. So maybe this one is not so urgent.
And maybe I"m done with novels. Who can say? The world isn't begging for one of mine, anyway, so there's no rush. And time always does tell...
* * *
I've started studying Russian--I had a wisp of it in college and have been doing Duolingo for a couple of weeks. Today I received in the mail a pared-down grammar, a book of conversations, and a book of easy stories. We'll see how long I can stick to it!
* * *
Here's a tree-ish thought,
a pressing thought,
a Russian thought for the day:
"To destroy a people, you must first sever their roots." --Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn