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, December 27, 2011

New Poem for DVerse OLN: Rilke Variation

Photo  "Il Centro" Carlo Grillo

On Viewing the Aquamarine Doors
Of a Seacliff Town

Only he who has eaten
the food of the dead
will make music so clear
that even the softest tone is heard.

Rilke  Sonnets to Orpheus I 9

As I lay dying I found myself climbing
The steps of an ancient town
I had a basket of abalone on my back

And these clucked among themselves;
Where are we going, where?

Presently the basket tipped
And the lucent husks rolled back down
To the tide.

I wanted to reach the stone walls
To taste the food of the dead
That it might linger in my mouth like
a memory of salt.

To be sure I was afraid of this climb;
I had never known such freedom,
Each and every burden dropping 
From me,

Fear recast as a crackling laughter
Among the low-flying gulls.

And then I stood on the lip of the mountain;
Turning to see the sea unfurling
Into eternity's twilight
I wept as I fell.

To participate in the best online meme with the best poets, visit DVersePoetsPub.


Maureen said...

The image of abalone clucking is wonderful, and the sound of those husks rolling down stone steps to the tide is fully imaginable. The "chuckles" of the gulls seems a mockery and thus sad, as is that final stanza.

Brian Miller said...

whew...vivid end and really nice expansion on the rilke quote...you have inspired me to dig into rilke a bit more...got a book for christmas that i will start when i get back home...

Anonymous said...

beautiful, lovely, mysterious poem.

Natasha Head said...

I wept as I fell...seriously! What a fantastic finish to this brilliant seascape you have painted for us. I swear my heart stopped the moment I read them...all senses, once again engaged.

Claudia said...

standing on the lip of the mountain... love this...great rilke quote - always so much wisdom and depth in his words and you continued the path so well jenne..

Anonymous said...

This one is really one of my favorites of yours. It is just beautiful; clucking abalones, taste of the food of the dead like salt, the freedom, the falling. Just terrific. K.

Anonymous said...

My only crit--re-reading--is whether you might not want to be more consistant with punctuation. I'm a big one for punctuation in poetry, and most people don't seem to much care, but here you use some punctuation so specifically and other places, not, and I'm just not sure if you mean to leave out, for example, after the "stretching away". For me, I'd like a comma there, or I feel like you are assuming we will take a breath, but then it makes me less certain of the pauses or breaths in earlier parts of the poem where I am fairly certain you did not wish for punctuation. Don't know if that makes sense? I am a very literal reader.


LauraX said...

"That it might linger in my mouth like
a memory of salt." GORGEOUS!

Anonymous said...

Back again--maybe I take that back re comma! I don't know. (You can see the kind of thing I kvetch over.) Terrific poem.

Laurie Kolp said...

Beautifully written... such a tragic ending.

Timoteo said...

I will chew on this for a goodly time. (At first I typoed "godly" time...that too!)

cj Schlottman said...

The images in this poem are stunning. I love the idea of "lucent husks rollin back to the tide" and

"I wanted to reach the stone walls
To taste the food of the dead
That it might linger in my mouth like a memory of salt."

I'm a new follower.


Victoria said...

The ascent and descent of life, so well expressed. As usual your sensory details entrap me and I able to visit that seaside villa. So beautiful.

Kerry O'Connor said...

You are an amazing writer and poet, Jenne. I am always impressed by your work, and this is no exception. The opening lines are brilliant, and the entire piece resonates with the human condition. I also loved the symbolism of the abalone. Just excellent.

Shashi S said...

Oh I enjoyed this one... and specially since Rilke's death anniversary is tomorrow, i.e. 29th Dec so he was on my mind...
thanks for beautiful tribute to this genius...

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
At Twitter @VerseEveryDay

Mama Zen said...

"That it might linger in my mouth like
a memory of salt."


Sheila Moore said...

love it all- every word, image and even the photo