THIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOKS, “LUBBOCK ELECTRIC,” BY ANNE ELEZABETH PLUTO AND “A MURDER OF PRINCIPLE,” BY SUSAN CORYELL, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.
THE BOOK: “Fireflies at Absolute Zero.”
PUBLISHED IN: 2012.
THE AUTHOR: Erynn Rowan Laurie.
THE PUBLISHER: Hiraeth Press (http://hiraethpress.com/about-hiraeth/).
SUMMARY: Fireflies is a collection of poems on mythology, dream, the environment, and a life in motion. Part autobiography, part dreamscape, the book brings together incidents real and imagined, fragments of myths, and a musician’s love of sound.
THE BACK STORY: I’ve been writing poetry since I was quite young and have always been fascinated by the sounds of words and how they make music in combination. Poetry seemed a natural outlet for this sense of music and rhythm. I’ve found inspiration in sources as diverse as early Irish poetry and the surrealist movement.
WHY THIS TITLE?: The title is a phrase from my poem “On the Nature of Dreams” and describes both dreams and the light of stars.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? If you love the sideways logic of dreams, the music of ancient tales, and the magic of words, this collection brings them all together between two covers. Poetry is a spiritual pursuit as much as a linguistic exercise, reflecting realities that prose can find difficult to express.
“Following an ancient tradition of craft and inspiration, Erynn Rowan Laurie’s work breathes in wonder, transmutes it into crisp lyricism, and offers it, sharp and focused, back to the waking world. Grounded in experience, dream, and story, these poems declare with rich attention the wold voice of the divine, the warp and weft of myth, the complexity of being human, and the great beauty of the earth, rough and sweet. Fireflies at Absolute Zero is a collection for all who seek to invite in the raw, poetic nature of being and witness the singing of spirits and powers; bluejay, human struggle, mandrake, divine story, seashore… all brought into focus by the magic of the sacred word.” Ruby Sara – editor of “Datura” and “Mandragora.”
AUTHOR PROFILE: Born in New England, Erynn spent time in the Navy and washed ashore in the Salish Sea, living in the US Pacific Northwest for over thirty years. Challenged by circumstance, Erynn moved to Italy in 2013, a few months after winning the first annual Bisexual Book Awards in poetry for “Fireflies at Absolute Zero.” Erynn’s other works include “Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom” about the history and modern uses of the early Irish ogam alphabet, and over twenty years of articles and essays on aspects of modern Pagan spirituality and practice.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: Poetry is inherently engaged in the deepest mysteries of life. For me, it’s a spiritual path and a way of addressing healing, political and environmental activism, and the exploration of identity. The work of the poet is to put mysteries into words, to examine the hidden places, and to bring the light of the stars to earth.
How can I answer this question?
Should I speak of winter, of bone-cracking cold?
Shall I tell you of dark mornings by the wood stove,
watching my breath rise in clouds, waiting for warmth?
We would sit by the light of kerosene lamps, their glow absorbed
by the scent of burning pine.
I do not miss the cold, or the work of the woodpile.
I do not miss
Childhood is gone. I have gone from my Berkshires
to a different life.
I have shed my down and grown flight feathers.
My heart has found a new home, in boughs of cedar and the salt-washed Sound.
I am glad of the rain, of mica skies over grey-green isles.
I welcome the distance between myself and that hill time,
that child’s place.
But this I remember — this I cherish:
the black moonless sky was sharp and clear and the stars
of themselves lit the snow.
Late February brought the growing sun, began the months-long thaw.
There was longing in me; longing for spring,
and the sweet s cent of maple in the air.
This was the season of sugar, of light returning,
of tapping maples,
watching the slow drip of sap into bucket,
sweet icicles forming on the tap.
We gathered sweet water, the blood of maples;
the cold clear blood of spring.
The sugarhouse was bare weathered wood, silver in snow, and steam
rose in the still, clear air.
I remember this:
A single drop of cream stills the foam on boiling sap.
Fire in the sugarhouse warms the deep core of being.
The scent of maple hangs in the sky like milkweed seed in summer.
WHERE TO BUY IT: The book is available on Amazon, but if possible, I’d prefer folks order through the publisher: https://homeboundpublications.com/fireflies-at-absolute-zero-erynn-rowan-laurie/