Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Honoring Malinda Markham

“Markham’s is a poetry of scrims and scarves, of meaning held just out of reach—not to frustrate, but to build a sense of wonder with layers of feeling and image without concretizing either, which would diffuse their magic.” –Mari L’Esperance, Connotation Press, Review of Malinda Markham’s Having Cut the Sparrow’s Heart

In response to loss of all kinds, we often turn to poetry for solace.

And when poets lose other poets, we turn to the words of the particular poet we lost. So I will start this post with a link to former poet and translator Malinda Markham’s poem: Just Past this Road Lives a Figure Imprisoned in a Tower (Verse Daily, 2010).

 Several lines in the closing stanzas of this poem read:

How many times

People set out to reach you.

Facing the day, the myriad steps and missteps of a poet’s life, I am reminded by this loss to persevere towards connection in all my relations, making contact, sustaining contact and connection. As a poet, I do not necessarily view death as a barrier to communication, listening, and connection, poetry itself--like night time dreams and astral travel—a bridge to the other side if you believe in such comfort. I do.

Yet tangibly, in the frame of disparate bodies day by day, I share the grief of your particular loss, Mindy, (with utmost condolences to your family) along with those of us who spent our MFA years with you in the heartland. Blessings. My prayer is that you rest sweetly in peace knowing you have left a trail of beautiful poems behind you.

Further reading:

Here is a lovely review of Markham’s second book, Having Cut the Sparrow’s Heart by Mari L’Esperance, Connotation Press, Sept 2012.

And here is the announcement posted last week at the blog Freedom in Harmony, complete with review quotes and Amazon links to Markham’s first book, Ninety-Five Nights of Listening (winner of the Bakeless Prize, Mariner/Houghton Mifflin, 2002) and her second book, Having Cut the Sparrow’s Heart (New Issues, 2010).

March 2015 addition: Malinda Markham: Felt Intelligence, Compassionate Interiority, also by Mari L’Esperance

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