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Poems on Line

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Beate Sigriddaughter, who is a great networker from Silver City, not too far from here, has posted one of my poems .from my new chapbook, “Transported” on her website, Writing in a Woman’s Voice.” The poem is “Centripetal Forces” a fancy title for a poem about family traveling together. Find it here.

If you check there tomorrow, she promises she will have added “Ground Level” which combines an adult sense of geography with a child’s perspective.

If you wait longer, you’ll have to scroll down to find me. I am in awe of Beate’s ability to keep up her blog on a daily basis.

And I’m grateful.

Two links

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First, the promised link for the Giveaway of my chapbook Transported on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/320806-transported

Second, a link to two poems not in the book, but also about my birth family, published on One Art week before last.

Giveaway for Transported

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I’ve been getting some very positive comments from early readers of my poetry chapbook “Transported.”

I’ve set up a giveaway on Goodreads to reach more folks. It should go live on Thursday, 3/11.

Link will follow when it goes live.

Transported is out in the world

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My Chapbook, Transported, is out.  The poems center on the two years of my childhood when my family traveled in Europe and Egypt.

They include the sense of family:

Five lean on each other,
two parents, three children,
no child’s star, pointing outward.
            (Centripetal Forces)

Things seen from a child’s point of view:

Tales of moats and castles frame
my picture of a king.  The Queen
is a prim lady in a trim suit, matching hat.

Alice’s nemesis is dwarfed
by the real, living Elizabeth,
her patient smile akin to my mother’s,
            (Parallel Lines)

The way the experience affected my later life:

She has come home
to the familiar: classmates, neighbors. 
Two years older, she doesn’t know
what’s changed, how corners of her mind
have filled with images foreign to her friends,
dropped in like squash seeds in compost,
            (Returns 1)

Contact me to buy a copy or go to Finishing Line Press.
Same price, but I include the postage and sign them.

Sunrise

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Nature made a great show this morning.

It’s Candlemas, Presentation of our Lord, the cross-quarter day and the Feast of Bridgid. So why does the groundhog get all the press coverage?

Who’s Lost in What Greenwood?

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More on my new book:  Lost in the Greenwood explores two sets of tapestries, the Hunt of the Unicorn in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Lady and the Unicorn series in the Musée du Moyen Age in Paris.  These two sets differ in style, subject, history, in every way except date, and the fact that both include unicorns, though even the unicorns are different.  Yet one set is rarely discussed without some reference to the other.

The Hunt of the Unicorn is set in thick green woods.  Who’s lost? The poet, of course.  There are three sources for this work, the Hunt, the Lady and the reflections, questions, suppositions and imagination of the writer.

Find it at: https://www.ellenrobertsyoung.com/books.html

My Unicorns Have Escaped

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My new book, Lost in the Greenwood, is out in the world. 

The poems circle around the unicorn tapestries of 500 years ago.  There’s much more than unicorns: the making of the tapestries, the world that made them, magic, nature, belief. 

It’s a book of poems about all of this, but I still think of these poems as “my unicorns.”  And these unicorns are not the modern, friendly kind. They are goatlike, feisty and as dangerous as the world in which those who imagined them lived.

In their honor, I have a new website, http://www.ellenrobertsyoung.com

The book is available at atmospherepress.com, or by contacting me.

Political Statement

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In the form of a haiku:

Presidents, whether
red or blue, were never meant
to be our saviors.

May 2021 be a year that brings good things to all.

Thanksgiving Poem

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Joining in the widespread nostalgia this year for those big extended family gatherings.

Mashed Potatoes

            “ . . . are to give everybody enough.”
                              Ruth Krauss, A Hole Is to Dig

So there must be gravy
and a decision about who’s to make it.
Thanksgiving celebrates acquisitions,
mergers: his family’s sauerkraut,
her neighbor’s homegrown squash
will be replicated for decades.
Four burners heat six pots
when the niece comes in to make
macaroni for the youngest ones
whose urgent hunger cider and celery
cannot satisfy.  A lump in the potatoes
proves they’re real.  The masher
blames distractions, so many
people in the kitchen. The gravy maker
stays focused while other pans
change places, the drawer
at his elbow opens, closes, opens.

First published in The Broken City, thebrokencitymag.org, 2013

There is much to be thankful for, even in 2020.

Just Ten More Days

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to order my new chapbook, TRANSPORTED with Finishing Line Press:

Here’s a sample poem, which focuses on the after: the effect on my life of the travels when I was twelve:

Greece

A school year in Egypt,
most of the next
in Rome, but it was Greece
that grabbed and held me.
In three weeks Athens’ high
templed hill, ruined porches
of the Agora, theater of Dionysus,
tucked themselves into memory
like a candle-filled side chapel
that roused my senses
in the cathedral called Europe
so packed with past centuries
it overwhelmed. 
                                    I left
to become an American teen,
romantic, imagining gold
jewelry, Latin lovers.
Greek stones pulled me back.

Greece was my field of study for years, and the fascination with times past has continued into the present.  Before Greece, there were ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, as I explain in “Beginnings”:

Everywhere mysterious signs.  Baffled
by Arabic script I copied the crisp symbols of antiquity:
            n, the running river,
            alef, the vulture
            m, the owl.
Letters I could not weave into words became
ciphers to conjure with.  This was the first time
I chose the past over the present.

Somewhere I still have a notebook filled with those enchanting symbols.

If you haven’t ordered a copy yet, please have a look.

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