Wisdom of the Body
Author: Judith Roche | ISBN: 0930773810 : 9780930773816 | Format: Paperback | Size: 140 x 215mm | Pages: 94 | Weight: .126 Kg. | Published: Midpoint Trade Books (Black Heron Press) – April 2007 | Availability: In Print | Subjects: Poetry texts & anthologies
This is a meditation in poetry
on the ‘bodiness’ — the physicality — of all things: our bodies and how they change, the salmon and their life cycle, trees, flowers, the earth, everything caught in the mystery of time. The book contains a series of poems on the life cycle of Pacific Northwest salmon that was a City of Seattle public arts project, and poems from the libretto of a musical piece by noted composer Janice Gitech, ‘Navigating the Light’.
“In her luminous third collection, Roche’s subject is the body as a cultural and spiritual as well as physical form. In the magnificent ‘Credo,’ she lists what sustains her: ‘I believe in the cave paintings at Lascaux, / The beauty of the clavicle, / The journey of the salmon…I believe in the wisdom of the body.’ That wisdom isn’t without pain, and the book is haunted by the deaths that occur when ‘Someone will come at the end / and tell you a story so beautiful / you will rise out of yourself / and go into it,’ as she almost did, she tells us in an autobiographical poem about nearly drowning. Yet the body’s wisdom is expanded rather than limited by death, which enjoins us to more vivid life: ‘The mouth knows the taste of its own tongue / hungers for savor, makes meaning / of sound, trying to name truth.’ This is a powerful and courageous book, full of lyric intensity and crystal-sharp imagery.” — Patricia Monaghan, Booklist
is a poet and the author of three collections of poetry. They are Myrrh/My Life as a Screamer, Ghost and recently, Wisdom of the Body, which won a 2007 American Book Award. She is also co-editor of First Fish, First People: Salmon Tales of the North Pacific Rim, which also won an American Book Award, and has edited a number of poetry anthologies. Roche has worked in collaboration with visual artists on several public art projects which are installed in the Seattle area. Roche is Literary Arts Director Emeritus for the One Reel, an arts producing company and teaches poetry workshops.
Her work has appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Pebble Review, Wandering Hermit, and several anthologies. She has conducted poetry workshops for adults and youth in prisons and is a fellow of Black Earth Institute. She is the 2007 Distinguished Writer at Seattle University.
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