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Giveaway on Goodreads Ends Soon

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Paley front coverJust a reminder that I am giving away two copies of my book, Made and Remade on Goodreads.  This pre-launch giveaway closes on July 20.

Of course, if you don’t win, you can buy a copy from me by using the contact page.

Here’s a sample from the book.  I’ve organized the poems in six sections, responding to different statements by William Paley.  One is this:

I know no better method of introducing so large a subject, than that of comparing a single thing with a single thing; an eye, for example, with a telescope. As far as the examination of the instrument goes, there is precisely the same proof that the eye was made for vision, as there is that the telescope was made for assisting it.
Natural Theology, 16

And one of my responses to that text is:

Analogies

Treasured image: curved back
of a worker bent in concentration,
watchmaker with tiny tools,

magnifying eyepiece,
or potter with clay-covered hands:
e
ach has a skill prized in its time.

When human minds are
compared to computers, no one calls
God a computer nerd, and though

bodies are treated like machines,
repaired, regulated, no one says,
We are watches.”

We break, are mended
like serviceable jars, more kin to
vulnerable clay than clipped metal.

Paul wrote “earthen
vessels” and it stuck.

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Goodreads Giveaway for Made and Remade

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Paley front coverI am offering two copies of my book Made and Remade in a pre-launch giveaway on Goodreads.  Go to https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22163304-made-and-remade if you’d like to sign up.

The proper launch for the book will be in September, with readings in Las Cruces.  If you’d like to invite me to come to your area and share a reading with someone, I can do that too!  I’ll be lining things up soon.

If you don’t win the giveaway, which ends July 20, use the contact page if you’d like to get a book.

 

This is the opening poem in the collection:

Obsession

for Polly

I’m fixed on this book
like a three-year-old on trucks,
a five-year-old on dinosaurs.  You could
make it my motif, were I young
enough for birthday parties.

Language to sift and savor
artfully, skillfully portrays
a world of fixed order, art
and skilled contrivance.
This balance
wavers as I wonder
at that world’s collapse in
swings, cycles, evolving
life, shifting earth.

Mechanistic views dissolve in
reality’s wash and rub.  I
turn and read again for fragments,
museum quality gems of evidence
for a long dead argument, a fresh fix
of fine writing, proceeding
from a fine mind.

 

My Book is Out!

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Paley front coverAnd it is in my hands.  Due to a miscommunication with the publisher, the books had to chase me across the country, but I now have a batch to offer.  You can buy the book on the WordTech website, http://www.wordtechweb.com/order.htm

or you can contact me for a signed copy at a slight discount ($15 instead of $18, and mailing is included, as a special hot-off-the-press offer).

The poems in Made and Remade respond to William Paley’s book, Natural Theology, published in 1802.  Famous for his analogy, “suppose I had found a watch upon the ground . . . the inference we think is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker . . . .,” the book presents Paley’s case for creation by design.  As cracks developed in a once coherent world view, we have been left with patches and pieces – the material of poetry – with which to make meaning.  The poems move in many directions, reflecting on how much has changed in 200 years.

Another Step on the Way

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The Bridge Outside Paley's Door

The Bridge Outside William Paley’s Door

Today I submitted the corrections for the printer to the publisher for Made and Remade, my book responding to William Paley and his Natural Theology.  The cover is in process and I hope to have an image of that soon.

Paley wrote:  “suppose I had found a watch upon the ground . . . the inference we think is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker . . . .”   His book presents his case for creation by design, based on the intricacies of eye, ear, and other parts of the body and of nature.

My poems respond in many ways, including these thoughts on Paley’s watch, from “Time Past, Time Present”:

What’s the time on Paley’s watch?
Without hands it would still be
a watch.  It’s mechanism matters
to him: springs and metal, not hours,
minutes.  His present so long
past, timeless in comparison
with ours, has he a gift for the now
in which we’re timebound?

The realization of how different Paley’s sense of time and the watch were from mine was one of the moments that made my dialogue with his writing so interesting to me.

Progress on “Made and Remade”

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The Bridge Outside Paley's Door

The Bridge Outside Paley’s Door

The manuscript for my collection of poems about William Paley and his 200 year old text Natural Theology has gone to the publisher.  Made and Remade should be out in the middle of 2014

To celebrate I offer this poem, which opens the book and describes my enthusiasm for the project.  It also points to all that has changed since Paley wrote, and the world of change we live in now.

            Obsession

for Polly

I’m fixed on this book
like a three-year-old on trucks,
a five-year-old on dinosaurs.  You could
make it my motif, were I young
enough for birthday parties.

Language to sift and savor
artfully, skillfully portrays
a world of fixed order, art
and skilled contrivance.
This balance
wavers as I wonder
at that world’s collapse in
swings, cycles, evolving
life, shifting earth.

Mechanistic views dissolve in
reality’s wash and rub.  I
turn and read again for fragments,
museum quality gems of evidence
for a long dead argument, a fresh fix
of fine writing, proceeding
from a fine mind.

This poem was included in Ascents: Five Southwestern Women Poets.

Location, location

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The weather here is back to good walking temperatures, and I’m out in the desert and in the sun more.  (In the heat I walk either briefly, around a few blocks, or before breakfast.)  Plants are blooming and grasses are going to seed.

100_1006

A fondness for nature and place is something I share with William Paley, whose book is the basis for my collection of poems, Made and Remade, due out next year.

The Bridge Outside Paley's Door

The Bridge Outside Paley’s Door

As the picture of the bridge at Wearmouth reminds me, Paley’s place is very different from mine, but when he talks about the joy of walking out in nature, I know whereof he speaks.  I tried to express this in “Shared Ground,” previously published in Ascents.  (See more on the books page for that volume.)

Shared Ground

Walking among new-born
flies, aphids, all nature
to feed his wonder, the parson
loses regrets (the bishop’s ring
never bestowed) finds comfort
in common creaturehood.

He’s at home wherever
he walks, while I, creature
of foggy hills, green valleys,
walk on alien land where
nothing of profit’s produced,
nothing is wasted.

A jackrabbit feeds on
freeze-battered prickly pear,
bolts at my approach,
happy in his speed, doing
what he’s made for.

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

Poems in On Line Journal

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Lantern_Journal_Fall_2013_Issue_FlyerThere’s a small sample of my poetry collection responding to William Paley, Made and Remade, on the web.  It is in Lantern Journal’s Fall 2013 issue.  The overall theme of the issue is “Evolution.”  The selections chosen by the editors are extremely varied.  My entry is a set of three poems, two from the Paley collection. You’ll find the contents and introduction to the issue (Volume II, No. 3)  at: http://lanternjournal.org/category/v2-i3-2013/  There you will find my summary statement of Made and Remade and a picture of the Wearmouth Bridge, along with other photos.  Click on “View full ARTicle here” to read the poems.

The first of the poems, “Lost Leverage” while it fits the theme just fine, is from an earlier collection.  As the word “Lever” buried in the title may suggest, it is from my Archimedes series, which has yet to find a publisher.

The connection of “Evolving” to the theme should be self-evident.  I leave it to the reader to determine how “Headache” fits.  I hope it doesn’t give you one.

The Bridge Outside Paley's Door

The Bridge Outside Paley’s Door

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