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the moon won’t be dared

October 8, 2021

I got a copy of the moon won’t be dared, by Anne Leigh Parrish, from Poetic Book Tours and read the poems outside as a warm October afternoon came to its end, which is a good way to read them, if you can.

The first one I came to and liked enough to read again is “holding on,” in which we’re asked to
“think of a single drop of rain
closing around a speck of dust
lifted, totally alone
held as moisture above us all
until a certain mass collects,
or a point is tipped and then
the fall—
rather like making love, don’t you think?
be careful, though, of this enticing metaphor
not everything is about build up and release
maybe more is about day-to-day travails
holding on, standing by, showing up
and refusing to let go”
It’s nice, isn’t it, the way we muse about the drop and are then asked to expand our thoughts about something small?

In addition to the poems by Anne Leigh Parrish, the volume has collages by Lydia Selk, and the two that go together best are “the plains, as seen from above” and “don’t” with their illustrations on the facing page.

The definition of “hate” that begins that poem describes the feeling:
“hate is creosote carried on the wind
a burned field
flames in a barrel of leaves
ice on the windshield
drip in the sink”

Similarly, “left alone” describes the feeling well:
“the rings come off, sit in the small
nighttime dish after the dawn is hours old
bare hands, gnarled, scrubbed
the mirror is left alone, never looked to
holds only the room it hangs in”

A poem about finding something many years after a friend gave it to you reminds me of my best friend from high school, who recently returned a really good rock I’d given her when I left for college, saying she’d held on to it for long enough. The ending of the poem, entitled “fifty years on,” is graceful, in a way that leave-taking rarely is:
“maybe you found it again by chance, when you
moved into a new house, and tried it on for a laugh—
did it fit? remind you of me and how I gave it to you
so I wouldn’t have to say good-bye?”

Although I enjoyed a few of the poems in the moon won’t be dared, I’m not convinced that the lack of capitalization says anything; it’s a peculiar affectation, mostly of self-published poems over the past few years.

Still, reading through these poems, with their nice bits of imagery, can be a good accompaniment to the long, slow end of an October afternoon.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2021 11:29 am

    Thank you for being on the blog tour. I love that this pairs art and poetry together.

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  1. the moon won’t be dared by Anne Leigh Parrish (Sept.-Nov. 2021) |

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