Jenne' Andrews is an American poet. She has three published chapbooks including the recent Blackbirds Dance in the Empire of Love, Finishing Line Press 2013.

A full-length collection, Reunion, Lynx House Press, was published in 1983; after a long hiatus to raise Golden Retrievers in Colorado, recent work has appeared in The Passionate Transitory, Belletrist Coterie, The Adirondack Review and Vox Populi, a journal of culture, politics and poetry published and edited by the august Michael Simms.

A bilingual collection of "Italiana," Bocca, Voce, Delirio, with translations by Lorenzo Luciani, will be released by Finishing Line at the end of 2016 and her latest collection, And Now, the Road, a finalist for the Autumn House prize in 2014, will be released by Salmon Poetry Ltd, Ireland, a highly regarded international house, Jessie Lendennie, Publisher, circa 2017.

Andrews holds the MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Colorado State University, is a literary fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, and was full-time Poet in Residence for the St. Paul Schools from '74-78. She lived in St. Paul from 1971-78 during the first wave of the Twin Cities literary renaissance, and spent the summer of 1973 in Reggio Calabria, Italy.

The poet lives in northern Colorado's Poudre River Valley with her husband, fiction writer Jack Brooks; the couple has recently imported two British Golden Retrievers and expects a litter in June-- see the Ardorgold website for details. Contact: jenneandrews2010@gmail.com .

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Poem for DVerse Open Link Night and Beyond.... Homeward


Houses rose around us, solid but unreal, and no one knew us.

Playmates, Rainer Maria Rilke

It is true that old friends fade away
that the solitary self
falls inward, inquiring how then

Shall I be safe and whole?
We see a scarlet bird wheeling in the fervor
of flight but she returns and returns

To her cloister of branches
The mariner is blown out to sea
lays low and then braves the swell

To come into harbor.
The self’s harbor is the house one builds
in later years, brick by brick, each

Still warm from the hours lived
it represents.  Stone by stone
the foundation, then the strong support

Of oak for the walls and the duly
plumbed walls themselves.
How lovely is thy dwelling place
Then, former child, battered by the seas
of the world;
this is the sane house of the self

Not imagined forth but a true strength
and true discernment, to paint the walls
a light-retaining white

To hang bright red flowers upon
that they should invite us within,
to come unto the completion

Of being, landlord
of our own lives, there in one’s own
redolent cloister,
chanticleers in the window’s bowing
willow,  singing
the writs of beauty.


Join in the DVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night! 
bronze:  Rodin
copyright Jenne' Andrews 2011


Joanne Elliott said...

I love this! The ebb and flow of our lives as we come home to ourselves and build. Beautifully rendered.

P.S. Rilke is my favorite poet.

Brendan said...

How shall I call these paper walls home? Oh yeah .. Thanks. Gorgeous work. - Brendan

Maureen said...

"The self's harbor is the house one builds" is a stand-out line in this lovely lyric poem. Its title is deeply inviting.

Rilke has been a great source of inspiration for your recent poems. Brava!

Ann Grenier said...

A beautiful poem, Jen.I just finished reading a little book about Sylvia Plath by a roomate at Smith College. Very disturbing. She did of course eventually succeed in her suicide attempt. Your poem describes the antithesis of such insanity. We must hope to live with the unnameable need and hunger, construct comfort from the memories of which our selves are made.

Arron Shilling said...

Very arresting and strikingly beautiful - inspiring subject matter a very affecting piece

Brian Miller said...

really a very beautiful poem jenne...wonderfully descriptive and engaging...being landlord of our own lives means bearing the responsibility for them as well...

Anonymous said...

Ann above is so right... you just described the beauties of life, the little parts of our own quaintness, an inner strength and desire for an absolute love of life and the years that accompany it. Jenne, you are one of the most talented poets that I know. I see beauty in so many things, so to say this poem is beautiful is one thing, but no.... Jenne this is an absolute masterpiece and I am completely humbled... sorry if that's a bit over the top or into the woods....... :)

Mama Zen said...

"this is the sane house of the self"

Yes! Beautiful, meaningful write.

Heaven said...

an interesting question you pose:

"that the solitary self
falls inward, inquiring how then

Shall I be safe and whole?"

like the reflective tone.. but the answers, I think are different for everyone. Thanks for sharing your thoughts ~

Natasha said...

beautiful...compelling....consider this piece felt. A wonderful read, much enjoyed!

hedgewitch said...

True words well expressed: the house we build ourselves with age and time and persist in through the buffets of our experiences is indeed the one we must live and die in, so why not decorate it in joy.

Mark Kerstetter said...

What I appreciate most about this, apart from its beauty, is the sense that this work is ongoing, one must do at least a little bit every day.

Beachanny said...

Red the flitting symbol as a flame, a beacon, as that touch of autumn, warming, consoling - flits in and out of the piece calling one home. Here in your words we find the solace, the fortress, the comfort the soul seeks. Excellent piece. Not only beautiful, but so precisely crafted! G.