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, November 15, 2011

Rilke Variation: Testing the Crust - for DVerse OLN and Beyond....

 A new response to the latest poem posted at A Year with Rilke-- posted for DVerse Poets' Pub Open Link Night  (OLN)

Testing the Crust

Summer was like your house: you know
where each thing stood.
Now you must go out into your heart
as onto a vast plain. Now
the immense loneliness begins.

Onto a Vast Plain, Rilke, Book of hours II 1

Earlier in the year a plant at my door
went into riotous bloom with
heart-shaped flowers;
it was so shamelessly alive with itself,
dropping nectar-heavy blossoms 
where I walked

I cut it back, imposed my will upon it
but not until now, November
is it subdued-- splayed
and brown, like a dried starfish.
I hear it humming psalms of
solace when I pass.

But what of the scripts of the heart
when the bare yet enduring
cottonwoods loom over the street
and winter’s quiet ruin enfolds us?

It may seem that we are safe and warm
in the morning rooms throwing off residual
light like the alpenglow from 
the snow-cast mountain

But out on the ice fields of being
are we not testing the crust
with each wary step,
like the great explorers
who could not keep from
giving themselves to that
forsaken wildness

Preparing ourselves for the inevitable
misstep, when it is assured
that something calculating
and omnivorous catches up to us,
with its exulting dark mouth?


copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Maureen said...

From "heart-shaped flowers" in "riotous bloom" to "withered/and brown, like a dried starfish": wonderful imagery, as is that strong visual of "testing the crust" of "the icefields of being". How we slip and slide!

signed...bkm said...

Agree with Maureen...can feel November pulling back...nice work...bkm

Timoteo said...

Very much like: "...winter's quiet ruin enfolds us..."

Unless we learn to ice skate!

Pat Hatt said...

Truly wonderful imagery at every turn, a great write.

Brian Miller said...

i figure one day i will fall through that crust...i might should stop dancing on top of it...smiles...some really wonderful imagery through out this jenne...

Mark Kerstetter said...

Plenitude and loss - how full and beautiful is life, almost too much so sometimes, and then, with little or no warning, a glimpse of the fragility of our perch here. We must remember to step lightly!

Claudia said...

wow jenne..just love the imagery in this..and yes..with mark i think..we must remember to step lightly..

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Striking imagery and I like where you took Rilke on this; he gives us the lonely vastness of the plain and you have us ponder the thinness of its crust. I see myself adopting your wonderful image and notion of "testing the crust" as my very own.

Heavens2Betsy said...

I found your poem so beautifully moving. It really touched a deep place within me. Your use of words is so feeling - not an emotion wasted. penny

jen revved said...

Lorenzo-- mille gracias-- tenia muchos delores de cabeza en escritar este poema pero espero que horita se hace bien...besitos y abrazos, J

jen revved said...

perdon...en escribir...a veces estoy pensando en Italiano y no recuerdo mi Espanol....xxxj

Anonymous said...

Exquisite imagery and great flow, another fine write from you.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Oh, what a brilliant poet you are!

'so shamelessly alive with itself', 'the ice fields of beng', 'its dark exulting mouth' — oh, yum yum yum!

Morning said...

winsome work.