|Quantum Heresies by Mary Peelen|
I have returned to the poems in QUANTUM HERESIES many times in the last two months. How can a debut collection of poems be so arresting, so superb? One answer is that Mary Peelen has been hard at work on her craft for years; she is not a dilettante but rather a true poet. Also, she has lived a fascinating and hard-won life.
Take for example these lines from "String Theory,"
Here at the horizon of theoretical extinction,
we cut flowers for the table.
We sing the way weary mourners do,
praising geometry as if miracles could happen.
The environment, mathematics, love, and loss in two couplets. I am in awe of these lines and of lines from many other poems as well including: "x", "Unified Theory," and "Sunday Morning" to name but a few stellar examples of Peelen's deft and spare language.
Elizabeth Bishop once said that what she liked best in a poem was "to see a mind in motion." And she then added that this was of course an impossibility. That the poems that did their best to mirror the mind's movement were working hard to display such ease. Take for instance these lines from Peelen's, "Sunday Morning,"
I put my faith in Algebra.
And Wallace Stevens, of course,
his quantum heresies, his dominion,
coffee and oranges
I wondered a bit at this beautiful title that also appears in this poem, Quantum Heresies, and although roughly defined it means the amount of energy it takes to adhere to spiritual beliefs, there is also the wonderful HER in heresies. Perhaps the energy to believe in the self, in the female body, in the body of the world? Well, now I am going out on a limb. I think you will just have to read it yourself to see.
If you are a fan of the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens, or the novels of Jane Austen --- you really want to check out Quantum Heresies.
|Mary Peelen, author of QUANTUM HERESIES|