Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Goddesses: Athena




The goddesses stay with us, often keeping to the shadows until some event in our lives calls them forth, with their luminous mystery drawing us to them.   Here is Kathryn Kirkpatrick's invocation to Athena, from her new collection,  Unaccountable Weather, due this fall from Press 53.  The books can be pre-ordered from Press 53 right now.  





I finally met  Kathryn five years ago when I was Writer in Residence at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.  I felt I had met a soul-sister, and that sense of connection has not diminished with time.  I've read her new book with wonder, asking how she could weave such seemingly disparate  women's voices into one seamless fabric.   




 (Athena, the goddess of Wisdom)

Kathryn  is a poet of such thoroughgoing honesty that reading some of these poems feels like eavesdropping, they are that closely focused on the details of experience. Whether  waking up from surgery for breast cancer  or describing the massage therapist kneading the scar on her chest, Kirkpatrick does not prettify the moment. Nor does she diminish it.  What makes this book memorable is how she weaves her own perspective  into a tapestry of other presences,  creating  a chorus of wounded, healing women rather than one solitary woman’s encounter with death and renewal.  The goddesses are here, with their grave and luminous visages.  And women you might meet at the local laundromat or fast food restaurant. Who is speaking this book?   The feminine.  Everywoman in her fear, her wit,  and her  Interior grace.  



Athena

Not the saucered face of an owl
but a serpent coiled in her hair,
the shape of its head, on which everything
depends, indeterminate.
Triangle perhaps. Maybe oval.

She’s not wooed by the snake like Eve
but one with the snake like Medusa.

This is wisdom with bite,
appraisal cool and round as an egg.

Forget the olive tree, flute,
yoked oxen and bridled horse.

Forget Prometheus who tried to take credit.

The flames at her chest tell us
what she has suffered,
what she has made of her suffering.

3 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

Those ancient goddesses still have to power to enchant -- a lovely poem!

Majid Ali said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tea said...

Last stanza of poem so powerful. Luv the description of your blog under the header.