Posts Tagged ‘Made in the Image’

After kicking off National Poetry Month with a radio interview on the 88.1 WETN show “Joy in the Morning,” I’ve continued to celebrate poetry all month long.

I joined the Brotherhood of the Briar for a second time in April and recited a little bit of Emily Dickinson, the poem that begins, “Success is counted sweetest …” Later, I celebrated poetry with student poets at Wheaton College at the release parties for two publications, The Pub and Kodon. I was particularly delighted with the recent work of one of my former students, Peter Strand, who shared his poems “World Records” and “Avocado.” Peter’s talent first impressed me when I read “Los Que Saben Las Garífunas,” which I originally posted last summer – a sensual, beautiful poem! I also enjoyed listening to the music of Gabriel DiRicharde, whose lyrics are genuinely poetic, as can easily be discovered at his blog: “i am the outlaw.”

Yesterday, the last day of National Poetry Month, I gave a poetry reading and flute performance at the BGC Museum for, as Milton would say, “a fit audience though few.” I was delighted to be able to share poems from my forthcoming collection The Bird-Watcher’s Diary Entries as well as my in-progress collection Birth-Song. Some other poems I truly enjoyed sharing were … “Man Friday’s Girl” from Made in the Image, “Angels on Jacob’s Ladder,””Sea Turtle Song,” “Garden Hoses,” and “Bridge” from the newly expanded version of Love-Song, “The Horn of Amalthea, the Last Unicorn” from Magical Poems for Girls, and “Meditating at Nelson Cove: Rancho Palos Verdes, CA – 30 August 2009,” an experimental haiku sequence, which I published in Tidepools.

As I prepared the poems for the reading, I saw a theme emerging that related very closely to the fact that I am severely directionally challenged. For example, I set off to go to Sky Yoga Studio last Sunday. It is literally fifteen minutes from my house, but I’d never been there before. I made four wrong turns and arrived a half an hour later than I intended. Sigh. But that’s me. It seems, though, that this literal difficulty sometimes extends to the metaphoric journey of my life. Where am I going? Where have I been? Will I ever arrive at my desired destination? Where is the harbor of my life? I love to sail out to sea, but I also want to find my rest at home.

So several of the poems I chose related to this theme, and so did one of the songs I played with on flute, Rascal Flatts, “Broken Road.” It’s a beautiful song worth listening to if you haven’t heard it. Like so many love songs, it could easily be sung to a lover or to the Lover of our souls, which is comforting to me.

Although I originally intended to end my reading with “Song to the Mapmaker,” I forgot to read it! Fortunately, in the blogosphere, it’s possible to make certain changes in the record of events, so here is the poem from my collection, Sanctuary:


Even when I do not know where I am going, God knows. He knows the map of my heart because he drew it. He understands the map when I do not. He knows how to help me follow it even when I get lost. And most beautifully, he is walking with me on all the roads upon which he has set my foot.

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Jane’s new collection of poetry, MADE IN THE IMAGE, is now available from Lulu Press!! Here is what three readers have to say in praise of the poems in this book:

“Jane Beal has the gift of tongues. She speaks in many voices: with the whispered wish for water in the wasteland; the yearnings of Yeats; the ecstasy of St Teresa; the chaste eroticism of the Song of Songs. She speaks in many voices but always with the One Voice that conveys the unity of meaning through the poet’s polyphony.”

~ Joseph Pearce, author of Divining Divinity (www.staustinreview.com)

“Jane Beal takes you on exquisite journeys to the mountains of love just as poignantly as trips taken to the underground of human behavior. She is a modern day psalmist.

~ Yolanda Calderon-Horn, author of Step Out of Weeping Shoes (lopsidepress.com/gallery)

“These poems move from the painful terrain of women’s mistreatment through the ages and all over the world to an ecstatic vision of 
humanity as made in God’s image. Beal’s poetry bears witness to suffering from a compassionate and devotional place. As she says in “Psalm”: ‘All my longings lie open before You.’ As a reader, my longings are laid open by her work.”

~ Marie-Elizabeth Mali, editor of The Book of the Villanelle (www.floweringlotus.com)

You are invited to preview the book at MADE IN THE IMAGE at Lulu Press!

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