About six months ago, I received an email from Elliott Robertson. He was publishing his new poetry collection and wrote asking for my address so that he could send me a copy. When the book arrived in my mail box, it included an inscription thanking me for my encouragement. Before I’d even read a poem, I was bursting with delight for having encouraged a poet. Once I’d read this poetry, I was agog.
I’ve always claimed William Stafford to be my favorite poet and done so without a qualm. Being such a “long” writer, I was always surprised, even startled, by the way Stafford could touch me with as little as four short lines. But like with any other reading, having a “favorite” can begin to feel almost as disloyal as calling one of your children your favorite. With reading, this only happens when you are as moved by something new as you were by the former favorite.
This happened to me with Elliott’s poems, compiled in the book, Chaos and Surrender, Healing Poems for the Soul. Where Stafford took the everyday and turned it on its ear in that startling way, Elliott took the spiritual and sacred and did the same.
I immediately wrote a review and posted it – and it was all about the ability of his poems to meet me where I am.
When poems meet you where you are…well…that’s what I feel makes them great. And in that strange and mysterious way of a poetry collection that reads like literature, growing from melancholy to glory and cycling back and leaping forward, it is the parts that speak to you where you are on your own journey that melt over you like words of love.
Later, as I spent more time with the poems, I found a whole additional dimension. There were also those poems that didn’t meet me but that drew me beyond where I was. These poems called forth longing for a place I know, a glorious place that, once experienced keeps beckoning, and yet at times, needs to be re-ignited into a passionate yearning. These poems did that.
As with the first poems, once I read these I found myself frantic to return to them. I’d not remember a title and think where was that one that I’m thinking of? Half the time I wouldn’t be able to recall a single word but only a vague feeling; a mood. I would then page through the book until suddenly, there it was, and I’d sigh in recognition.
So I now see that it is this recognition that is the powerful draw I feel. Is it recognition of truth? Of beauty? Of my own state of being? Of what it is I long for?
I invite you to this recognition and these powerful poems of a fellow Course of Love reader. You can view a few of Elliot’s poems here.
Purchase from Amazon and see my full review here: http://www.amazon.com/Chaos-Surrender-Healing-Poems-Soul/dp/1257106600/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1314042220&sr=1-7
or from Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?fListingClass=0&fSearch=Elliott+Robertson