Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm

SEE ALSO: TRYING TO HOLD A BOX OF LIGHT (photos, realistic to abstract)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

REVIEW OF WILD MERCY (Tarot-Inspired Poems by Elizabeth Cunningham)

Tarot inspired musings
by Elizabeth Cunningham
Creatrix Books
P.O. Box 366
Cottage Grove, WI 53527

To review this wonder-filled book of poetry and musings without dithering endlessly is quite a challenge. Yes, I’ve been a fan of Cunningham’s novels and poetry for many years. Yet each new book still manages not only to please and teach, but to astound me.

Each of this unique collection’s eight parts explores in a variety of poems the essences of The Tarot card that it opens with. In fact, after my first read through I had the feeling I’d just witnessed a beautiful, deeply honest, courageous and caring Tarot reading that the author has done for us all.

However, one does not need to be even vaguely familiar with The Tarot to appreciate these poems. Cunningham (as does The Tarot) explores enduring themes such as relationships, death, and loss, and sets her gems in a love of the natural world of birds and trees, rivers and mud. All this, heightened and deepened by memory and acute, unflinching observations. Time and again, I found myself stopped short by an intake of breath at a bit of difficult wisdom so naturally revealed.

By the time of my second read-through, the book was a-flap with yellow sticky notes next to favorite poems and passages. For example, from “What Kali Tells Me” in the Moon card part:

The trick is knowing
what needs to die
and what is coming to birth.

All that clutter chokes
the next breath....

Let go let go let go.

Or here’s all of “Sacrifice” in The Hermit card part:

The gods will accept as sacrifice
whatever we bring to the altar
fears, shames, rages,
things we have hidden or denied.

The gods do not despise these gifts
the gift of what is wounded in us
the courage it takes to lay ourselves bare.

Then there are the celebratory pieces. Such as “Breasts” in The Empress card part:

Mountains are breasts
so are swells on the sea.
We live inside
a round blue breast of sky
milky with cloud.
Everywhere you look the world is round.
Even when the sea is calm
even when there are no hills
you can see the curve.
The moon spills milk
all over everything.
The sun shines brightest
on breasts, always seeking
the heart in the hollow.
Everywhere we lay our heads on earth
that is her breast
that is her breast.

And, following that lead, I will add that anywhere you lay your attention in this book you will find something of value.

I would be quite remiss if I did not also comment on the art work by Janet Black on the cover and for each of the eight Tarot card parts. It is delightful and unique, and pulls together this exceptional and deeply moving collection of Tarot-inspired poems and musings.

* * * *

Resource: Passion of Mary Magdalen, novels by Elizabeth Cunningham.

‘til next time, keep dreaming,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)****My other blogs ROSWILA’S TAROT GALLERY & JOURNAL and ROSWILA’S TAIGA TAROT.

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At 10:13 AM , Blogger Marcia (MeeAugraphie) said...

I can understand the challenge of not dithering endlessly, these are wonderful peeks inside a human being. I am so glad you wrote about them. Thank you.


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