08 - The Night Marsh by Penny Harter Jul 19, 2008 23:45:25 GMT 2
Post by shayepoet on Jul 19, 2008 23:45:25 GMT 2
The Night Marsh
"The Night Marsh is a beautiful collection, rich and deep, by a poet able to communicate truths that almost go beyond words. Several of the poems convey astonishing spiritual experiences (see "Voices," "Diffusion," "Translating the Sky on the Morning of My Birthday," "One Moonless Night," and more). In other poems, Penny Harter intimately confronts the natural world; and often, high moments of her life, and our lives, between death and childhood, are memorably held fast."
— X. J. Kennedy
Feeding the Horses in Texas
for my father
Dad kept yellow corn from the feed store
in a garbage can out behind the shed.
Dawn and dusk, he shoved a rusty scoop
deep into that can, dumping hard kernels
of boyhood memory on the family farm
into a galvanized pail.
Then he sniffed the wind and nickered
until two horses crossed the neighbor’s field
to rest their muzzles on the split-rail fence
and talk to him.
And he made more horse noises,
grinning back as they curled floppy lips
to bare big teeth and munch this ritual gift
from an old man lost in his yard,
who raised that steel bucket
as if to his own mouth.
More poems on-line from this collection:
Umbrella, 3 poems, Fall 2007, Kate Bernadette Benedict, Ed.: tinyurl.com/6xzmdn
FutureCycle Poetry, Robert S. King, Ed. at tinyurl.com/63pes6
"The Night Marsh is an extraordinarily impressive collection of poems, most triggered by photographs, memories, news items, nature—poems that attach themselves solidly to reality (a bone, a bird, a crown of red hair...) and then leap into another realm. I'd call it realistic magic. One example: in a poem about the death of a cat, or simply death, “Below the Trees,” we read these lines about loss: “Talk to me of dust returned to dust, / of flesh to dirt. Talk to me about / the way the sun sets early and the dark / holds on.” Words about reality work their magic; we need them, and acceptance and comfort will follow. The language is straightforward, but it shimmers...."
-- Home Planet News, tinyurl.com/59j7ax
Praise for The Night Marsh:
"Fusing the metaphysical and the elemental, Penny Harter's direct, lyrical, light-filled poems praise—and question— the very turnings of the earth. In these rich meditations, Harter celebrates and makes radiantly new the world's beauties, even as she invites us to "find, beyond the flesh, a brilliance left behind."
— Catherine Doty, Momentum
"Penny Harter’s poems take on the shadow-side of life, the things we flee from— night, pain, aging, death, dementia—and draw them into the light, finding the beauty in wrinkles, loneliness, and the stiff body of a beloved cat. Her poems pick up and examine life and its transitions just the way her child’s hands once picked up the fossilized “ghosts” of ferns long ago turned to rock, reminding us that the wheel of existence rolls onward, and we with it, no matter what comes. Treasure this book, as Harter treasures life."
— Susan Tweit, author and naturalist, susanjtweit.com
"In The Night Marsh, Penny Harter very effectively dissolves the illusory walls we humans have constructed between ourselves and the rest of nature. That is the sort of healing people need. May her audience be huge."
—Christopher Herold, founder and editor emeritus of The Heron's Nest; author of A Path in the Garden
About the author:
Penny Harter is published widely in journals and anthologies, and her literary autobiography appears as an extended essay in Contemporary Authors. Her poems have recently appeared in Contemporary American Voices, Lips, Qarrtsiluni, Tiferet, Sea Stories, U.S. 1 Worksheets, The Valparaiso Review, and Umbrella. Recent books include The Night Marsh (2008), Along River Road, Lizard Light: Poems From the Earth, and Buried in the Sky, and her illustrated alphabestiary for children, The Beastie Book, will be published early in 2009 by Shenanigan Books.
She has won three poetry fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, as well as awards from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Mary Carolyn Davies Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the first William O. Douglas Nature Writing Award for her work in the anthology American Nature Writing 2002. She lives in Summit with her husband, William J. Higginson, and works as a visiting poet in the schools through programs sponsored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and various other agencies.
ISBN: 9781933456973, 102 pages, $17.00
WordTech Editions, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2008.
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Barnes & Noble: tinyurl.com/6pdsbv