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, October 4, 2011

New Poem for DVerse Open Link Night:: We Whose Houses Fall

We Whose Houses Fall

Where is he, the clear one
whose song has died away?
Do the poor, who can only wait,
feel that young and joyous one among them?

Does he rise for them, perhaps at nightfall—
poverty's evening star?

St. Francis of Assisi, Book of Hours III, Rilke

I ceded my kingdom of beloved birds
to the pellucid gods on high.
We had been building a house of love
timber by timber

About to agree on the pitch of the roof
when our song was torn from us
by a marauding wind.
And then the dark field, with its flooding 
creek and flowering thistles 
came to the door

And we yielded, taking refuge
in live oaks on the rise.  Now we look for him,
one who can return us to ourselves, revive
the nomad stars that burned down to ash
when fearful silence claimed us.

But someone said it is good when a house
is consumed by the mothering wind 
and the burning universe dances:
old walls fall away and then a psalm
open-hearted as the muted ecstasies 
of the saints returns—

Only then, like a lover giving herself
after a long time demurring,
do the new timbers hold.


From the draft manuscript Dances with Rilke, Jenne' Andrews
Poems in this series are variations, elaborations, reflections, upon the writings of Rainer Maria Rilke as they have been posted at A Year with Rilke
copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Kerry O'Connor said...

I love your Rilke inspired poems, and this is no exception. The fall house, the promise of future roofs... and give and take of a natural process.

Thank you for your recent comment on my poem - I appreciate your support very much.

Brian Miller said...

sometimes you must strip away the old for new flesh to be born...is true of wounds both in people and in houses...nice write jenne

Anonymous said...

Such a lovely lovely poem. The ending, the demurral, just beautiful, lovely tones of Rilke here.

Pat Hatt said...

Old has to be given away for new to show and to grow, very nice take on it.

Maureen said...

These lines read beautifully. Rilke continues to be a wonderful inspiration for you. I especially like how from the first you work in the birds (nice bit of associated symbolism; I bought some years ago for my husband a St. Francis wood carving with birds on his sleeve) and then weave throughout the lines about song and music. The last two stanzas, especially from the lines "old walls fall away..." are lovely.

henry clemmons said...

wow. inspiring. i'm not sure if this is my first visit to ur page or not, but i won't forget it now. beautiful write. it makes me feel better. puts me to hope again. thanks.

gautami tripathy said...

Moving forward is the KEY!

a song, this is?

Beachanny said...

I liked this a great deal; the symbols gain strength as they weave through the poem, with references to Christianity and the older myths, seasonal, and nature building strength to the last. Really well done.

Ann Grenier said...

I love your Rilke inspired poems, Jen ... a wonderful idea for inspiration.

Victoria Ceretto-Slotto said...

Oh my, Jenn, you've woven two of my favorites...Rilke and Francis. And on Francis' feast day. Such a beautiful analogy. You are truly talented.

Sheila Moore said...

awesome, Jenne! I am still trying to figure out which is more painful - the taking down of the old or the building up of the new. Guess it really doesn't matter...

Ann LeFlore said...

I love your last stanza and yes with love the new timbers will hold

Ruth said...

music was eaten by the wind. . . . so lovely. The field came to the door.

And on and on your lyrical lines flow and mind turns in beauty. It’s remarkable what you can do, Jenne’, absolutely splendid. Nature can return us to ourselves, and so St. Francis knew. The final stanza, comparing the fallen structure to submission in a lover, is a gorgeous revelation.

Such fine work, as always.

Morning said...

love the implications in it.

well done.

joanna said...

A beautiful Rilke-inspired piece. Those last three lines are pure joy.

joanna said...

P.S.-- love that picture of the Strait (Sicily being one of my favorite places! :))

Anonymous said...

Lovely poem, incredible thoughts just roamed through my mind when taken in view of your photo..... a couple long ago building their home, only to have it destroyed by nature, but then coming to realize that well laid timbers will prevent that in the future.... Last stanza is my favorite..... Sorry about the delay, rough week Jenne....