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, March 17, 2012

Posting for DVerse Poetics ...Reworking of Myth/Fairy Tale....


A Myth Profaned

The priest’s pallid hands hover over consecrated
Bread.  Vested in white flame
Candles flare in the dark nave.

I take God upon my tongue, take Him in
The Puer Aeternis, divine boy, sacred journeyman--
His very body.

I meditate upon this one on the crucifix, reading
Ecce Homo; Behold, the Man.
I kneel and take the cup to my lips--

Consecrated blood, the blood
A yearning for homecoming sheds
Within the soul.

So was I seduced, appropriated,
My girl’s heart won over, my own voice
chanting  Credo in Unum Deum, ascending
With the Ave Maria,
Petitioner for mercy.

But Divine Figure—
It is too mortal here in the thorny gardens;
It is all profaned
By the father who binds his girl child to him
In the long and weeping night,

The mothers who turn upon their children,
The dispossessed, who starve in the desert.

I cast myself upon
the ground, for this, penitent:

I return your sackcloth and your ashes,
Your Good Friday and the allegory
Of your rising,
And lay them at your feet.  Clearly

Like deer running blind from a forest fire
it falls to us
to free ourselves
from every shroud of barbed wire. 


copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2012


Laurie Kolp said...

Wow, Jenne... I'm speechless.

Brian Miller said...

dang...nice...and apropo too for the times we are in...we do need to get busy and work out this world...i dont think we can wait around on divine intervention...and i don't know if waiting for the mythical quick exit right before the crap hits the fan either...smiles.

Claudia said...

sometimes the suffering in the world can just overwhelm us and i agree with bri..we need to get busy to do our small part to change things...even if we can't change as much as we would love to

Dawn Potter said...

In my recent workshops with high school students, we've been talking a lot about the idiosyncrasies of line. I'm curious about your variable approach to enjambment. What's your thought process about lineation?

Anonymous said...

Brave poem. Such a wonderful metaphor at the end. So interesting to see the thorned garden convert to barbed wire. "Shroud" of barbed wire especially poignant. K.

Maureen said...

Myth, of course, holds deep truth, which this poem aims to reveal and free. Your imagery is so strong, beginning with "the priest's pallid hands" and ending with "every shroud of barbed wire". The sense of the hidden in your opening lines opens into conflagration that finally allows us to imagine what will rise from the ashes.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Yes.. this is in the top drawer of poetry. Just brilliant in conception and flawlessly written. You pack a big punch.

jen revved said...

Thanks to each person/poet who took the time to read and respond to this problematic poem. And so nice to hear from you, Dawn-- have missed you. Regarding lineation I know that I vary traditional breaks with enjambed lines and it seems always to come to down to wishing to convey either that I hear a brief pause, or a stop, or that I want at least for the following of the image to continue-- I think my approach is in transition, honestly and perhaps it's fair to say that in this draft, I'm focused more on unburdening myself of my meaning as Woolf puts it, to which the lines are somewhat incidental to but still of course part of the whole. I'll give it more thought as it's a very important question-- thanks! xxxj

jen revved said...

...I was afraid to write this and so I think perhaps the lining reflects a fluctuation between feeling brave and holding back, perhaps my unconscious attempt to convey the tide between and among doubt, grief, faith...xj

Charles Miller said...

This is very bravely told, serenely and confidently in its refelection on reality versus promise. I think the mythic features of the Christos have outweighed what I call the existential, thereby letting in such aberrations. Though that too, ultimately, hearkens to an aboriginal sinfulness, an idea quite out of fashion now.

The appeal to a triumphalist Christ versus the Jesus who walked on sand and mountain makes for too much for fantasy, drawing away from reality. Your poem is expertly crafted, I thought, though I would want to trust your instincts since you're closer to it than I.

Mama Zen said...

Amazing work, Jen.

Jannie Funster said...

Parts of this, Jen, broke my heart a little.

I'm not sure what to believe these days, either. Buddism seems to make a lot of sense, peace and inner calm the goal, we are made of love and have nothing to fear. Then Christianity as "The Way."

You have only deepened the mystery for me in this.

Mystic_Mom said...

Jenne - brava! Wow...