Monday, May 2, 2016

THE BAYOU TECHE

This beautiful image will appear on the cover of my latest book of poetry about Bayou Teche entitled A Slow Moving Stream, which will be published this month. The glasswork for the cover photograph was rendered by Karen Bourque of Church Point, Louisiana and is an interpretation of the Bayou Teche as it flows past the town of Arnaudville, Louisiana. The glass piece is entitled “Beneath the Surface,” and an afterword by Karen describes the elements included in the piece. She writes an eloquent explanation, an excerpt of which follows: “Spring, the dominant seasonal reference to the piece, is symbolic of the time of renewal. Spring, either as time measure or as metaphor, marks that time when the soul awakens inside the crossing of a water barrier, that time when unconscious mind and conscious mind surface and co-exist in the balance of renewed beginnings.”

Darrell Bourque, who is a former Louisiana poet laureate and author of Megan’s Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie, “if you abandon me, comment je vas faire: An Amédé Ardoin Songbook” and forthcoming “Where I waited” and Love Bridge, describes my book: “Diane Moore reminds us that poems begin in memory and in interrogation. The grand march of history holds one version of who we are. Mostly hidden grace notes and terrors hold other versions, and language tied to memory perhaps the truest version. Moore’s pathway to the sacred is through the word and she knows with the right inquiry we can also know in the ways that trees know, and clouds, and crows, and streams, and the whole earth. The universe she creates in the poems in A Slow Moving Stream is a universe where the obvious and the imperceptible, the mundane and the magnificent, the political and the personal are talking, where everything large and small is talking to the other all the time.”

Border Press announces that A Slow Moving Stream contains poetry that “follows the languid Bayou Teche from its source at Port Barre to Morgan City, Louisiana where it empties into the mighty Atchafalaya River, making a journey that traces some Acadian origins in a lovely and sometimes lonely landscape. During the journey, the poet unveils some of the characters and events of early Acadian settlements, as she imagines the history taking place, from the time the Acadians fled their native Pisiguit, Nova Scotia to a present-day oil wealthy Acadiana. This volume contains poems about the Great Flood of 1927, a Civil War battle near Franklin, Louisiana with an attendant drawing by the late Morris Raphael, author of The Gunboat Named Diana. Moore includes descriptions of swamp life and explores spiritual ties that have bound the people who built homes and enterprises along ‘a slow moving stream’ in one of the United States’ most colorful cultures.”

While A Slow Moving Stream alludes to historical events and people, it is, as Karen Bourque writes, “a poetic recreation of people and experiences” as I imagined them to be. Photographs by Victoria I. Sullivan, a botanist who formerly taught at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and author of Why Water Plants Don’t Drown, Adoption, and Rogue Genes, enhance the poems in this volume and add to the reader’s experience of that slow-moving body of water called “The Teche.”


I conceived the idea for the poetic work last year while lunching on the deck of The Little Big Cup Restaurant in Arnaudville, Louisiana, watching the bayou flow by, with Vickie, Darrell, and Karen. Actually, the poetry has been hovering in my mind for a long time, and an account of one journey I made along the route of the Teche appeared in Tour Guide: Louisiana’s Beautiful Scenic Byways, Part I that Trent Angers commissioned me to write for Acadiana Profile magazine in 1996.




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