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 .

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Poem: Violet Sea, Everything

Violet Sea, Everything

Violet ocean only nothing.
Smoke of thyme and of cedar,
Ornate birds, nothing.
Even a god who came here,
Hearing a sweet voice,   
Would find only old fires now,
Brittle in the blackened trees.   
Odysseus Hears of the Death of Kalypso,
Donald Revell

Let me oppose your
handsome bleakness, Singer.
Of the Costa Viola
the hands of her tide tenderly
reaching:  Mnemosyne is there

In the driftwood smoke
where the mariners
warm their hands.

Now they recall their captain
set free by Kalypso,
that he sailed here
nearly drowned and was saved

And that she who held him
hostage was spared
at the last, praised for her reveries
of regret.

What does this mean
for the violet sea,
the propensities of her ardor?

She laves us with her salt weeping;
she permits our dreaming in
seaweed’s unfurling wrack
she infuses us, buoying us up

Releasing us to spread our bodies
upon her, so that in every wave’s
pulsing in to shore, revived
and luminous, we
dare to love again.

*Mnemosyne – Greek Goddess of Memory
Kalypso: beguiled Odysseus until Zeus ordered her to
release him.

The violet water in Revell's poem and the
Costa Viola in mine refer to
the Strait of Messina between Sicily
and Italy and the “ragione” of Calabria--
Homer was captivated by the strait, 
setting much of Odysseus’s journey
there. My blog banner photo is of this 
remarkable place.

A number of readings of both 
The Odyssey and The Iliad contend that 
the works are about the trickery/treachery 
of women-- in ancient Greek culture
viewed as subordinate to men and 
therefore never winning out in 
the end in these great poems.

Revell's poem imagines that 
Odysseus, despite his ultimate loyalty 
to Penelope, loved Kalypso and grieved 
her death; in my poem, in further 
re-imagining the Odyssey, I cast the 
violet sea-- the Tyrrenian Sea of the strait
as the powerful feminine force 
with ultimate power to impact 
the "affairs" so to speak, of mortal men.

1 comment:

Maureen said...

I very much like your lyrical take on the story, with the violet sea as the protagonist. The opening lines get the reader's attention, and the poem holds it with the story-telling and lovely imagery, especially in the final two stanzas.