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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Review of God Lights His Candles by Dorothy E. Morris

Today’s society undervalues serenity and that is too bad. In other eras serenity has flourished as a positive concept promoting sometimes poetry and sometimes prayer and sometimes merging the two. Francis of Assisi, for example, could not have written his revolutionary Canticle of the Sun, combining both pagan pantheism and Christian monotheism, unless his soul centered on sereneness and a profound sereneness at that.

 Dorothy E. Morris in her book of poems, God Lights His Candles, draws from an obvious reservoir of spiritual serenity to compose her quicksilver images of natural and ritual happiness. Her poem Images is a good starting point. Like all good imagistic poetry her three subjects interest us with texture and emotion. Here’s the first image,

On a looping wire

Myriad starlings squat

Like black Majorca pearls.

The second image turns ducks into a line of obedient monks. Did I mention that serenity can, but need not, be eremitic? The poet puts a little twist in the third image,

It’s been three years,

I saw a crimson cardinal.

Was it you?

The sadness at a glimpse of that flamboyant bird offered here has no sharp edges. Serenity persists.

 In Spring: Beach Walk the poet turns the sun into a toddler playing hide and seek, then, as he carries the burden of original sin, sends him on his way seeking redemption.  The poem ends with these lines,

Out of darkness

Night to light

Traversing the way

In search of

Eternal grace.

In our modern world bringing up grace as a poetic motif doesn’t happen. Brave woman!

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