NaPoWriMo: Book Spine Poem

The Red-Haired Girl From the Bog 


    Her curly mane,

    color of sailors’ delight,

    captures attention

    from every street philosopher and holy fool

    mooching the squalid sidewalks

    of the city of the beasts

    forcing her to crouch

    beside a dumpster,

    consult her women’s

    dictionary of sacred symbols

    to interpret graffiti

    found inside a fortune cookie

    dropped in the aromatic alleyJustitia

    behind Dragon Empress

    Best Chinese Restaurant

    on Third Avenue.  Every

    portent predicts a red-haired

    girl from the bog

    will pour Celtic wisdom

    straight from her reckoning heart

    into the left hand

    of God, re-righting the world

    and bringing it to balance.


I had fun with my book spines.  What  a great idea!   Thanks Lillian .   My poem seems to have been influenced by Mallika Sengupta’s strong feminist voice.  I think the discussion she opens about the relationship between art and politics is significant- I’ve been pondering it myself for many years… I love the way she shares so many of my own concerns and emotions, halfway around the world in a country I have never visited, but which she has managed to make partly mine by opening a window with her words.  It off sets some of the angst that inspired my previous poem.  This prompt offered to return to the world of myth and story, I greatly appreciate! 

Here are the books I chose:

The Red-Haired Girl From the Bog  by  Patricia Monashan

Sleeping On the Wing  by  Kenneth Koch & Kate Farrel

Women’s Dictionary of Sacred Symbols  by  Barbara Walker

The Street Philosopher and the Holy Fool  by  Marius Kociejowski

City of Beasts  by  Isabel Allende

The Dragon Empress  by  Marina Warner

The Left hand of God  by  Adolf Holl

The Reckoning Heart  by  Manisha Roy

Celtic Wisdom  edited by  Gerald Benedict


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