The two sections of The
Resonance Around Us offer some of Penny Harter’s most evocative and
insightful poems. The lyrics in the first section, “The Resonance Around Us,”
introduce themes picked up and responded to by the haibun in the second
section, “The Great Blue.” Whether crafting her poems around memories, dreams,
or daily rituals, Harter offers a poetic exploration of what it means to live
in, and leave, this world. The book is designed by Jonathan Greene and features
a photograph by artist Dobree Adams on the cover.
Praise for The
Resonance Around Us
spins her poems from all she holds dear:
water falling through the sky. She praises the
closing mouth of a tulip, the black skein of
across the highway and her grandson’s infant
and falling ‘holy in the hypnotic dark.’ And
in her haibun
(a Japanese form of poetry combining prose
and haiku) we
find a master poet, like the fortune tellers
looking into palms and finding stars.
evocative, the poems in Penny Harter’s The
Around Us continue
to resonate within the
after the closing poem. Her language is at once
profound, with memorable surprises. Precise
details open possibilities of mystical connection.
resonates throughout—in childhood memories, the
nature of our
planet, and shared moments with her late
Resonance Around Us vibrates with living
author of Life
The Resonance Around
walk through this field, coarse grasses
around our ankles. Listen, we are already
the sky, its rising glissando trembling in the
of our bones—our bones that might be
chimes hanging from the trees, clattering
a hard rain.
it will snow, each crystal a tuning fork
the other, each of our upturned faces echoing
quiet ticking flakes that home on us.
those things we deem silent—dead weeds
by the barn, the piles the horses drop
they drift through the pasture, steam rising
each before it cools—even these
singing in their spheres.
and you might hear the choir of atoms,
unseen constellations that make flesh,
on and o as they resonate with
dead who float beside us, their substance
faster than we apprehend.
now some bird that knows the notes
twilight opened its beak to offer a brief
and as the dark descends in solemn
a chorus of plum clouds begins to hum
neighbor fills her winter garden with oaktag cut-outs of red and
stars—hangs them from her bird feeder or glues them atop the
sticks she’s left in the dirt between withered blooms. Yesterday,
knocked on my door, and I opened it to find her hands overflowing
stars—each hole-punched and threaded with yarn—a new constellation
these days of early dark.
are for you to hang places,’ she said simply, knowing of my need
joy this Christmas season. As we smiled and hugged one another, I
them in my cupped hands. Now stars dangle from my doorknobs
brighten shadowed corners—an unexpected gift of light.
the river—the glint
From the lovely color, photo and title of the cover, to the wonderful
poems inside, I have entered your world, and found much that resonates! Some I have read or heard--such as the last poem, "One Bowl," which I dearly love --
others especially moving to me are "The Great Blue," "After and Because," and of course, your beautiful title poem. I could go on and on, but I'll stop with those --
it really is an extraordinary book!
Poet & Professor Emerita, Rowan University