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 .

Saturday, July 16, 2011

New Poem for Saturday - Star-Making

The Arena di Verona at Twilight


Who shows a child his true world?
Who sets him among the stars, and places
in his hand the true measure of space?
Death can do this, the hugeness of death,
even before life has begun—
to hold it gently and feel no resentment,
that is enough.

From the Fourth Duino Elegy

So it was that the child saw
The place for herself left by one
No longer present

The absences between and among stars
The far-flung suns
Moon in her sanctuary.

Lesson the first then
Is of the power of absence:

Intent, in her crib
She listens.
Murmurs, down the long hallway
M – Mere. Mother.  First

And if the mother doesn’t come
The unfilled space intensifies
To oxygen.

The child’s first question:
Am I alone,
Was I born to be alone.

A child perceives the loneliness
Of the stars, blankly glittering on.
She would comfort the stars
Even the sun

Her hair catching fire
Body’s tallow melting
Little life dying back.

This is how we make a star
Someone wanders out, too far
No one to hold her
So that she drifts off,
To the vast fields of the heavens

A star faintly cries out
Behold, your missing child.

This, we perceive
As half-failed light,
a lucent phenomena
of little use to the world.

Copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011   all rights reserved.


Ted said...

M for mother and B or P for baba or papa are formed the same way except that M is a nasal consonant and P and B are labials --- they are the first sounds babies make because they are so easiy formed.

Wouldn't be wonderful if parents were made as easily as the phonemes are that represent them.

Did you know that it takes on average 7 seconds for a mother to respond to her child's cry in so called more primitive cultures? In western countries the average is 2 1/2 minutes.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the orphanges in eastern Bloc countries were flooded. The babies were well taken care of...fed, health care, etc. But for some reason many just died. They discovered that babies that were held and spoken to didn't die but they who were just left in their cribs without being held did. And today in my classroom kids cringe when you come near them, become uncomfortable eye to eye contact, and I am warned as a teacher every year...never to touch a kid...never to put my arm around a kid who needs a hug; never pat them on the back when they've done well; never put my hand on their shoulder to encourage them. And we wonder why kids are so desensitized today; why they prefer to text message rather than hold a conversation.

"Little life dying back" little by litte every day.

Oh...I loved your poem needless to say.

Maureen said...

"The absences between and among stars" is, to me, a beautifully striking line; so, too, are the lines "Little life dying back" with its dual meanings and "This is how we make a star / Someone wanders out, too far".

Zoe said...

I loved it to, in that hauntingly aching way.

Her hair catching fire
Body’s tallow melting
Little life dying back.

Yes, that is the price too often paid.

Ted - I was familiar with the orphanage story too and it frightens me that such disconnection is deliberately sought now as we leave that early childhood stage.
Loved, loved, loved, it Jen.