nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

on my book shelf:  ‘Crow Impressions & Other Poems’

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I am now reading Crow Impressions & Other Poems’ by Edith Miller. Crow Impressions is another book from my publisher, Chapel Street Editions in Woodstock, New Brunswick. Edith and I both launched our books at Westminster Books in Fredericton on June 9. Although I gave her book a quick read before the launch, I have now been able to sit down and enjoy a thoughtful read, as this insightful book deserves!

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Scan0020

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Edith Hoisington Miller, Crow Impressions and other poems. Chapel Street Editions: Woodstock, 2016.

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The other evening at a local writing event I sat next to a fellow book-lover who asked me if I’d read Edith’s book. ‘I love poetry about nature,’ she said. ‘The poems in Crow Impressions make you feel like you are there!’

Throughout her book, Edith’s first-hand knowledge of her subject matter shines through. Edith has watched not only crows, but herons on the shore, song sparrows in the rose bush, and eaglets in the nest. It has been said that crows recognize individual humans and I am certain they know Edith! I know she reveres this kindred ‘spirit sign’, understanding the crow’s sharing of this world,  the intricacies of their language. I love her inclusion of her first poem, written when she was seven – it will be a mystery for you to solve in your own reading, what part of nature she addresses in her poem.

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As I read, I am able to follow a journey to places Edith has lived and visited — from Long Island Sound to Arizona, from Penobscot Bay to New York City, here to Fredericton in New Brunswick. As I read, I am taken to places I have been but stopped short of fully knowing. I read ‘Tidal Bore’ and experience the wild ride on the Shubenacadie River. The sounds and smells in ‘Air Shaft’ recall my own few days in New York City in the 1970s and show me what it might have been like to live in the Village (truly ‘the dream of a 1950s suburban girl’!). Edith’s poems show she shares my interest in American Hopi culture and her poems show the respect she has for other cultures through her experience in issues of social justice.

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Crow Impressions is a lovely book, from the feel in a reader’s hands, to the easy-on-the-eyes layout. From the etching on the cover (a woodcut of a crow from a skate board created as a tribute to the memory of her grandson Isaac William Miller) to the final poems of the book. These return to the image of the crow, acknowledging the true nature of the ‘spirit sign’.

I recommend a close read of Crow Impressions – it will recall your own journey, make you ponder the symbols in your life for their particular meanings, and give you the joy of a walk on the beach even if you are far from the shore. Edith’s book is available at http://www.chapelstreeteditions.com and at our planned joint reading at Tidewater Books in Sackville this fall.

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

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