09 - What the Blood Knows by Peggy Miller Sept 24, 2008 1:26:54 GMT 2
Post by shayepoet on Sept 24, 2008 1:26:54 GMT 2
What the Blood Knows
What the Blood Knows by Peggy Miller (CustomWords 2007) is a collection of poems which find their inspiration and wonder in cosmic theory, and in life itself specified by genus and species names. Myra Sklarew says of What the Blood Knows, "It is exceedingly rare that a collection of poetry has the intellectual heft of these poems at the same time losing none of the delicacy, the sound of the human voice, the mystery of life and living things of this world, the known
and the unknowable played out so beautifully. In so many ways these poems give back to the reader,
awaken curiosity, lead us into new places."
Fields of Wheat, Fields of String
Certain theories are amenable to test:
Iron filings curve for a magnet.
Saw dust does not. Eggs exuded
from a frog become frogs. It’s been seen.
But strings, those mythic cosmic building blocks
pulsing in their separate amplitudes
can never be verified against our common reality.
Strings are like superscript,
bits without a place on the line.
We are too big to crawl down into crevices
that hide the little loops in their quarks,
so tiny—so much less than any infinitesimal—
they hum their music in only two dimensions—
and we do not hear the symphony.
Is it all fancy—or is that where the spirit dances,
stringing along in a billion unknowable loci,
apart from the scope of body?
Or is the mind the thing,
the glue that makes these trillion cells a One,
miracle enough that we can look out
at the stars that made us?
I have no idea. I may never know.
Somebody had to stay and grow the wheat.
Somebody had to make the crumb buns.
Raves and reviews for What the Blood Knows:
"In What the Blood Knows, Peggy Miller marries poetry to science in order to satisfy her ravishing curiosity about the world. To know, and to say, those are the two projects undertaken in this singular collection: I'm so hungry to understand / a thing, anything... she confesses in one poem, which later proposes that theory is a casual cognate of theism. 'That kind of fine, intellectual wit is at work everywhere and yet her knowing is tempered by a sense of inadequacy in the face of the ineffable: My life depends on faculties beyond / the liminal...What does it know with its milligram of wits. The tension between a love of knowledge and the acknowledgment of how little can finally be known holds this collection together and propels it toward the riddle of infinity...never getting any closer though the achievement of these poems argues the effort is worth it."
"A tour de force, Peggy Miller's new collection of poems blazes a way for all who seek to know the universe as it is today, theoretical strings attached. She has taken modern science and contemporary cosmological theory and traced their connections to the humblest phenomena shallots, alfalfa, bananas and bindweed. She touches the rumored edge of the universe, sees the earth pulled by a moon who drags / like a three-year-old at her knees,' establishes a foundation of 'material facts / upon which to stack my sleek towers / of speculation,' and writes, always, 'with precision and delicacy. Her poem 'The Buttercup' is a masterpiece. Do you think I exaggerate? When did you last read how blood in its vessels knows // in the black measure of universe whispering / among her corpuscles there is only local time, / brief and brittle, and this is her body?"
"This new volume from the fine American poet, Peggy Miller, succeeds in revealing harmony in the intricacies of the universe. She explores the many ways we connect to all that lives. Intrinsic to her theme is a confidence that the human spirit will prevail in a shower of timeless light. Miller writes, If only at some/ deeper and undiscovered dissection of particle,/ the stuff we're made of is infinitely old. The reader's mind is exercised and enlightened by this exquisite, sharply focused book. It demands frequent reading, and rewards the reader with broad insights into existence."
--Kathleen Bryce Niles
"In these finely wrought poems, Peggy Miller interweaves the sublime with the mundane revealing bonds between the seen and the unseen. Thus, she traces dark matter's song in the call of the ivory-billed woodpecker, and divines the mysteries of being (and un-being), paradoxically, in the expanse between atoms. Seamlessly, Miller unites individual plants and animals with her meditations on mortality and consciousness, thereby illuminating what's going on in the universe.' This is a book to read repeatedly for its myriad riches. It's brimming with splendid insights, surprising cross-species affinities, a brilliant wedding of science and soul, and startling, resonant truths about being human, and the miraculous world we inhabit."
About the author:
Peggy Miller is an editor with The Comstock Review. She has conducted poetry workshops for 15 years. What the Blood Knows was published by Custom Words in 2007. Miller has published a chapbook, Martha Contemplates the Universe, Frith Press, and a Greatest Hits chapbook from Pudding House. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary publications including Karamu, Paper Street, Connecticut River Review, Astropoetica, Valparaiso, Lip Service, The Listening Eye, Lucid Stone and many others. She has three grown children and spent her career doing weed science research for the USDA. She retired to The Villages Florida with her husband Phil Wolfson.
ISBN: 978-1933456805, 84pages, $17.00
Wordtech Communications, July 2007
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