Ruin and Beauty: New and
Red Hen Press, 2009
What They're Saying about Ruin and Beauty
To dedicate one’s passion for the sentient and beautiful of
our world, while maintaining the courage and love to attempt a transformation of
all that would destroy it, is the life of this poet. Poem after poem makes
clear her conviction that the purity of being found in the beginning, “when
all beings partook / and drank of beauty / as if it were pure water” still
remains, despite the ruin our species has rained down against it. As
such, her poetry not only acknowledges primal beauty as the nature of life
itself, it seeks to rekindle it through the power to name.
From the Introduction to Ruin and Beauty
"Did you think The Presence would fail to
leave a scar?" asks Deena Metzger in Ruin and Beauty.
She's a poet of visionary questions: "Can the world/heal/in this body?" And the
stakes she plays for are high. Her new and much-anticipated book is tense with
numinous presences: Neruda, Georg Trakl, the Chumash. But the arc is Metzger's
alone: the hard-won serenity and desperations of an exemplary life. She's a poet
who has faced contingency and lives in a world of final things--a deeply earned
knowledge underpins this book, "that we should be met this way/that our
appetitite/should be rewarded/with such grace...."
The Border Kingdom, Burnt Island, The Fall
Deena Metzger has spent a life in fierce devotion to the words and action that cut through to where spirit still resides in the ruins of our shattered world. In RUIN AND BEAUTY, Deena gifts us with poems that serve as life preservers. This is a singular vision honed over a lifetime of devotion to words and action, love and wisdom. I can imagine seekers carrying this book 5 centuries from now and reciting these poems, much as we do Kabir and Rumi and Hafiz, to keep the spirit alive under daunting conditions.
War and the Soul
To what the poet witnesses, Deena Metzger adds nothing but the light of her
imagination, whose like has not visited the West since Lawrence encountered
snakes there. In her, imagination is the practice of holy recognition of each
thing she observes and the act of discovering and communicating the hidden order
This collection is as much a gathering of
souls as it is an array of soft and dazzling poems. Deena Metzger is a sentinel
against silence, reminding us with each offering how blessed we are to be able
to die of beauty, how we can have rain in the midst of the rubble, how to have
rain and begin again.
In Case of Fire in a Foreign Land, Death and the Maiden
This extraordinary collection of poems is written by a woman who has spent a lifetime traveling to the center of the unconscious. Deena Metzger enters the darkest of moments and always comes back singing. She is teacher and healer, she is both guide and woman warrior.
Ruin and Beauty is an extraordinary book. Here, Metzger listens to animals, trees, rocks, oceans--she has learned their language well. She converses with other poets. She walks with sorrow and joy as companions, over deserts, through thickets, woods, and fields.
I am awestruck by what she knows. This is a prayerbook, a long letter to the gods, a secret conversation with the animal kingdom. She is trying to save us all. The passion in these poems burns holes in my mind. Metzger opens the door through which a multitude can enter. If you follow her, you will be changed by this journey, but you will learn many secrets of the universe, and perhaps you will find hope for the future as well.
Lake Dog Journal, Yellow Dog Journal, In the Presence of Mothers, and Dancing The Fault
You will be surprised. Deena Metzger's poetry
is well known in California, but it ought to be known throughout the world. And
hopefully now with this extraordinary volume it will be. Here are beautiful
poems, nuanced and yet in their own way, ferociously truthful, with a wonderful
music, both plain speaking and spell binding. I recommend this magic. If as a
poet I have long believed that poetry can save the world, what I want to say now
is: this poetry can save the world.
Wrestling with the Angel of Democracy
and A Chorus of Stones
Ruin and Beauty: New and Selected Poems is now available from Red Hen Press, 818-831-0649 or visit their website at http:///www.redhen.org or Amazon.com or order through your favorite independent bookstore.