Home

Transported is out in the world

1 Comment

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

2 Comments

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?

Leave a comment

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

2 Comments

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

1 Comment

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

1 Comment

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

1 Comment

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.

More on My New Chapbook

1 Comment

Finishing Line Press is featuring my new chapbook, TRANSPORTED, today. Read more about it at the link below.

It’s a good time to share the opening poem, which will demonstrate that the book covers more than the simple recollections of a twelve year old. I hope it intrigues you and makes you curious to read more.

Suitcases

We packed a trunk for Egypt,
following lists of “things you can’t
easily get there,” had it shipped direct,
carried our clothes with us
in thin rectangular suitcases.

Years earlier the British packed trunks
to set up residence in Egypt,
displacing the French.  Only a travelling
salesman would carry his own suitcase.

Now every case has wheels,
an expectation of smooth surfaces.

The trunk, shipped home full
of souvenirs—inlaid plates, foot
cushions to be stuffed, kohl bottles—
sits in my bedroom, holding remnants
of childhood, my wedding dress, my
children’s art. 

Two ceramic geese sit on the green cloth
which covers it like a very low coffee table.
It has shrunk.

Wheeled cases wait in the closet.

Sharing My Poetry

Leave a comment

I had the pleasure of an interview with Lynn Moorer this week about my poetry book Made and Remade on KTAL, the Las Cruces Community Radio station. The interview is now on their website at:

https://www.lccommunityradio.org/archives

It was fun to return to this book published in 2014 and feel that the poems still resonate. As I read “Shared Ground” it occurred to me that the end has current relevance:

If the universe has a maker
is it made less lonely?
My legs being made for walking
their notion settles my spirit.

I thought of how many are frustrated in their isolation these days. I hope all have, as I do, the release of something like walking to keep yourselves in balance.

Check out the link to hear that and six more poems.

Thanks to Lynn for this opportunity.

My new chapbook TRANSPORTED is open for pre-orders at Finishing Line Press!

Leave a comment

England, Paris, Greece, Rome: a European grand tour at age 12?

Evacuation from Egypt was the pivot point of a two-year adventure during my childhood when my father got a Fulbright grant to teach English abroad.  The poems in TRANSPORTED describe and reflect on that experience and how it shaped the person I became.

TRANSPORTED is listed on the Finishing Line Press website at:
https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/transported-by-ellen-roberts-young/.

Preorders are what make the publication happen. The period for preorders closes November 28.

The cost is $14.99 plus $2.99 shipping.
The intended ship date is January 22, 2021.

I invite all my friends and relations and readers to have a look, and place an order if you like what you see.

Older Entries