Suspended by Ellen White Rook.
Ellen White Rook is a poet and contemplative arts teacher who divides her time between upstate New York and Maine. Retired from a career as an information technology manager, she now offers writing workshops and leads retreats that combine meditation, movement, and writing. She also teaches Japanese flower arranging in the Sogetsu tradition. Ellen holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Lindenwood University and has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Suspended is her first collection of poetry. She is married and has three adult daughters. To read more of her work, visit her website at ellenwhiterook.com.
The poems in Suspended surprise and stretch the imagination, delve into edges and margins, mystery. In these in-between places Ellen White Rook seeks clarity that aligns with essential elements of being. Loss and hope intermingle - "the oracle leaves / footprints in water that turn to ice." Sadness is mitigated by creating: "we cannot help but make another story even in the infinity of absence." Humor is part of this whole. The poet wakes hearing an "unruly bird" in the night, only to discover the noise is - I'll let you find that out for yourself.
- Katrinka Moore, author of Diminuendo
Join White Rook's "finite but expanding" journey-what she calls "the edge of me"-where she "thinks about the unstoppable." Discover "the sound of light/enveloping/the moon" in a thrush.
Listen with her to "the chirrup of the spheres" in the night. Witness "fires, big as nations." Suspended explores "memories of what we ignored," ancient and personal.
White Rook's collection positions us in that liminal space in which we each find ourselves-in that transitional moment of the present, conscious of our forebears, speculating about the future.
-Dawn Marar, Author of Efflorescence
In Ellen White Rook's collection Suspended...words spoken hang/in myths/knife-silver light sits on murky water/not a reflection but the place/ between object and impression/at the edge...The poems begin with the death of a father and end with the birth of a grandchild, and in between, ask and elaborate in elegantly crafted language and startling imagery the central questions of being: What is it to be "awake?" How can we find what pulses under thought, the liminal spaces where new truths and new vision can be perceived? How can we see brokenness and death as a portal to a new state of being? How do we live life with the knowledge of death to come? In "Use Caution," the speaker asks, Is there a seed I might nurture/in my hard self/the way bones cultivate/marrow? And the poems shift from the body as landscape to landscape as the body, as the poet looks for what might last while also perceiving disruptions and brokenness as windows to beauty and new being.
-Susan E. Oringel, author of My Coney Island
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