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 .

Friday, June 17, 2011

New Poem for Friday: Song Plays Dead...

Orpheus -- Rodin -- Los Angeles Museum

Song Plays Dead

Hounded by hatred, you were torn to pieces
while your music still rang amidst rocks and lions,
trees and birds. There you are singing still.

Rainier Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus 1, 26

What if Orpheus,
confident in the hard-
found mastery,
should go down into Hell?
Out of the clean light down?
And then, surrounded
by the closing beasts
and readying his lyre,
should notice, suddenly,
they had no ears? -- Jack Gilbert, Refusing Heaven

Song wants to save us.  But look:
In the night iron mariners on fire
Sail into your harbor, jump ship

Open the door to the chest,
Grip the heart.  The heart in a vise
Song plays dead.

You toss in the white sea
Grasping at ropes of light.
Underwater, gagging bile 

Stumbling out of the bell jar
Hell of sleep
Then pulled under.

These demons, these unrelenting
These red-headed fleures avec
bouches riantes
Would build a pyre
And throw you on it--

Maenad mothers
With arsenic for milk
Their fistfuls of your hair
Their sealing of your sex--
All tyrants have their tricks.

As is the case while we
Yet breathe, you drift ashore
Fractured and still, like a wrack
Of shells.

Out there, the blue vale of death
Flickering fire from the melting sun
Rise, Orfea, try the aria now.
Sing: Un bel di, anything.
Beauty rots and rusts
And does them in
These slut shills on the seas of guilt

Abandon yourself now,
They win

Draft for the writing practice, June 17, 2011, after contemplating  Rilke’s  first sonnet to Orpheus, canto VI, and Rodin’s Orpheus.  Thanks to Lorenzo Lapislazuli and the great blog A Year with Rilke for the both. 

french phrase-- flowers with laughing mouths...


copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011

1 comment:

Jingle said...

Beauty rots and rusts
And does them in
These slut shills on the seas of guilt

divine thoughts, well penned.