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Pebble Leaf Feather Knife, Poems by Polly Brown
Polly Brown found the shape for Pebble Leaf Feather Knife in a game for noticing the world. The poems themselves, both lyric and narrative, both free and formed, grew from rock and water, white pine and pigeon hawk, bayonet and lullaby; from conversations between a beach walker and a slab of granite, or an island farmer and her runaway goose, or between canoe makers and the birch whose skin will become their canoe.
"This is a book of wonders and revelations. These come to us via Polly Brown's devoted attention to the mysteries of the world we live in, the shapes, for example, of shale ancient waters had carved, or the 'seed of light' found at the end of a leaf-tip in a summer rain. There are other mysteries too, the way the imagination can embrace the world, and enable us to become for a few moments what we behold. Then there is the mystery of the human heart, how the joys and sorrows of those who have come before us can in fact continue to live on within us. In the final poem, Polly Brown says she is 'still learning to read the world,' but we by contrast feel only gratitude for the grace-filled 'readings' her art has given us." -Fred Marchant
"With elegance and élan, Polly Brown's poetry toggles between the enduring and the fleeting, the given and the discovered, the minute and the immense. She celebrates 'the fickle weather of this planet' that can 'carry a continent to its edges, crumb by crumb.' By her own admission, Polly is 'blessed by a common delusion: that the world has been trying to get her attention.' And attend she does! To heron, crane, and crow, to red sandstone and pink granite, to water lilies, catalpa and apples, to aging elders and small grandchildren. What's more, she is ever alert to the moments that transform our known world into a landscape where enlightenment flashes-like the 'sun-dappled shade' of the New England woods, where she wakes 'to our life in paradise. Which means/it could happen/almost anywhere again.' If you read the poems in this book, it may happen to you."-Bonnie Bishop