Ruth Thompson Woman with Crows

“Ruth Thompson’s expansive voice is equally attuned to the swamp of the earth and to the ghost-filled haunts of the spirit worlds this rich collection embodies. Thompson’s range of reference – from Buddhist ghosts to Grimm fairy tales to Sumerian and Greek goddesses to personal and ancestral tales and legends – is wide and knowing, yet always transformed by a lived and experienced imagination, in a language that is wistful in its laments, sensual in its celebrations. These courageous poems journey the dark and beautiful mysteries and bravely offer, in a lyric that is fiercely wild and refreshingly independent, deeply earned wisdoms.”

  - Philip Terman

 

“Reader, what a journey you’re in for! This book tells the tales of a lifetime, traversing landscapes from childhood to grandmotherhood. ‘Let us throw away caution, / emblazon our retinas / with the flare and flame of it,’ exhorts Ruth Thompson early in the collection; then she proceeds to do just that, in poems by turns whimsical, pathetic, excruciating, exuberant and unflinching. Here, as in life, mourning and celebration often cohabitate; whether she’s praising the ‘lost otter of the body’ or exhuming family trauma, Woman with Crows will keep you enthralled.”

  - Ruth L. Schwartz

 

“There are many Zen-like moments of pure being in these poems, and there is also grief and questioning. Yet Ruth Thompson stares down her hungry ghosts and tames them. ‘Let me grow a word for this,’ she says in ‘Humus,’ and grows many words, meditations, songs, hymns, memories, biographies, and tales. She revels in the molasses sun of a life well lived, and taken together, these poems accrue to a kind of wise triumph.”

  - Frank X. Gaspar

 

“Among these brave poems, two stand out— for their beautifully placed, speakable cadences, their light touch, their transcendent vision. In ‘Journeying West’ the pioneer women are purged of the appurtenances of the old life until, empty, they come to stand before the new life’s open sea. For ‘The White Queen,’ memory loss circles, meanders, stops, starts, becomes a via negativa leading away from the merely actual of memory and desire to imagination’s new world of the freely possible – which must appear to the reader, still burdened with memory, like the White Queen herself, just ‘silly and confused and showering / silver hairpins.’”

   - Irving Feldman

ISBN 978-0-983307280

 

2013

 

$16 (Kindle $4.99)