Tuesday, September 3, 2013

IN A CONVENT GARDEN

For those readers who responded so enthusiastically to my last blog about Penny, the dog who aspires to the diaconate, I’ve included a poem about her in my newest collection of poetry entitled In a Convent Garden and Other Poems, which will be published in a few weeks. The volume is a product of this summer’s writing, and rather than review my own work, I’m including the acknowledgements of fellow authors in this blog for those who read the poetry I write while I’m sojourning on The Mountain here at Sewanee, Tennessee. The acknowledgements are humbling and affirming, and I’m happy to share the endorsements of gifted writers and discerning readers:

“I do not profess to know the mind of the talented Diane Marquart Moore but I do know something of its grasp of the essential, in things both ordinary and extraordinary, from the poems collected in In a Convent Garden and Other Poems. Moore is an intuitive, fiercely intelligent, and contemplative poet who renders each poem with a precision of language that makes her ideas of the metaphysical palpable and clear. Her poems, propelled by still, but spirited narration, captivate. We are taken many places: the convent garden, a fortress on the bluff, No Name Road, the plains of Khuzestan—each place absorbed by Moore through all of her senses then conveyed in sharp but measured detail to her readers, for the purpose of leading us to higher ground. This life, seen by Moore, is never spare or hopeless, which is the true gift of this book. In fact the whole book is an urging to hope. She does not spare us the truth of the ‘marrow of bondage’ all of humanity shares, but her poems promise freedom. Moore assuredly directs us to an ineffable Source. Grace surmounts the suffering of this world, and we are led into a revelation of holy shimmer that drizzles on dogs and cats, stone angels, and gratefully on us.”
—Clare L. Martin, poet and author of Eating the Heart First, Press 53, 2012.
"Time out to reveal the heart"—such is the work Diane Marquart Moore has made for herself as a poet. Remembering to breathe inside the lines, remembering to delight in the gifts of the spirit, she turns In a Convent Garden and Other Poems into a new book of common prayer. Nothing escapes her heart and eye: the elder nuns, slugs, the convent cat, songs in dreams, wandering, the dog's way, Brother Rabbit, Appalachian dulcimers and the songs of katydids.
—Darrell Bourque, former poet laureate of Louisiana, author of Megan's Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie.
My heart leaps up when Diane Moore brings out a new book. She seems to breathe in life, then breathe out poetry—she "poems" with such ease and grace. Her poems are strikingly original and challenging; she makes the reader work hard, but the rewards are great.
—Jane F. Bonin, retired professor of English, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, and author of Major Themes in Prizewinning American Drama and Mario Fratti.
Diane Moore is the rare poet who has the courage to probe the exquisite wounds of human existence: loneliness, despair, suffering, want, night terrors, and betrayal. Just when the reader is at the point of pressing the button for a narcotic to dull the pain, with imagination and skillful craft, she swings through with the wry humor of a raccoon singing barroom ballads, a demonic cat dusting her allergies with dander, a sweet Sister instructing a Psalm reader to break at the asterisk or risk being swept away with the wicked, and, most healing, with joy-filled lessons learned in the course of her God-centered life.
—Anne Simon, Louisiana District Judge, Retired.
Diane Moore's eye is more precise than most painters, and she uses that eye to make a sacred music full of love and sympathy for what often gets ignored or forgotten. She is a wonderful contemporary amalgam of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. Read her now and be delighted.
—Chuck Taylor, author of Magical, Fantastical, Alphabetical Soup.
Diane Moore has become a master of seeing, describing, and immersing herself in other lives. Her retired nun, Sister Mary Zita, "enters a dark cell / but her soul is not asleep;" a sculpture, "the stone angel is laughing;" and of Thomas Wolfe, she writes, "Each time I want his ghost / to give me a stone, a leaf, a door"… In A Convent Garden consists of meditations on spirituality, dreams, art, writers, travel, music, and nature.
—Gary Entsminger, author of Ophelia's Ghost and Fall of '33.
The cover photograph of In A Convent Garden and Other Poems was taken by Sr. Madeleine Mary, sister-in-charge of St. Mary’s Convent, Sewanee, Tennessee, and cover design was rendered by Martin Wayne Romero. Order copies from amazon.com after September 15, 2013.
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