Sunday, June 27, 2010

Review in Miniature: Between Water & Song

One of the many lovely surprises at this year's AWP conference in Denver was the book launch for Between Water and Song  anthology published by White Pine Press (full disclosure - also, my press). Although many of the poets were familiar to me -- poetry pals Ilya Kaminsky and Brian Turner are included here -- there were many other poets who were new to me. I was especially drawn to the women poets that read that night: Maria Melendez and Malena Morling. I can't help but mention that out of the fifteen poets, described as "New Poets for the Twenty-First Century," Norman Minnick has been somewhat short-sighted in including only five women. Yet, I am glad for the women he did include. Maria Melendez has published three collections of poems, is the editor/publisher of Pilgrimage Magazine and lives in Pueblo, Colorado. The title of the anthology come from her poem of the same title.

Between Water and Song

Many ancient americano
            calendars agree ---

This era is on its way out.
           One prophecy

says the next world
           will be water,

another says
         mundo floral.

Do we have time
       to argue the difference?

between flower and water
      water and song?

             ----  Maria Melendez

This type of condensed lyric looks deceptively simple  - add to that writing about the environment -- and this poem becomes even more impressive. The idea of the next world being one of flowers has stayed with me. And although the issue of environmental degradation is certainly here, I can't help but linger in a view of heaven,  a world to come with lilac and jasmine, honeysuckle and rose. Because praise for the world is also here.

1 comment:

  1. I've written down this title. And thank you for the wonderful poem you've featured from it.