Wednesday, August 26, 2015


When Karen Bourque agreed to work on a glass piece that would become the cover of my latest book of poetry, I knew that the art would be both original and arresting. And that phrase aptly describes the stunning glass piece that was photographed for the cover of A Strand of Beads, a collection of poems about rosaries and other strands of beads people use when praying.

Karen's description of the piece she calls "Dachau: Badges and Beads" made a perfect preface for the lead poem in this collection of poetry. The last paragraph of her preface is deserving of great notice. She wrote that "the horrors that took place at Dachau and the sorrows those horrors generated are inconceivable to me. In creating this piece, my intent was to respectfully turn the identification badges into a thing of beauty, to undermine the meanness of the original intent by having the badges themselves, as they exist in our memory, become symbols of all those souls' inner light. Whether the badges were worn on their sleeves, their pants' legs or wherever, the badges in this reconstruction symbolize hope for release into a better world, hope for some force that might open the gates of horror and hate, hope for the deliverance that was not there for the millions who perished in one madman's failed experiment."

Border Press presents my 22nd book of poetry and includes a blurb on the back cover that captures the spirit of this collection: "Whether beads are used to mark repeated prayers, incantations, or devotions, over two-thirds of the world's population use them in religious practices. In A Strand of Beads, the majority of the poems focus on prayers addressed to Mary—rosaries said in praise and entreaty and for metaphysical/psychological reasons. Other beads, such as the Persian strand the poet received in Iran, focus on protection from negative energy and provide relief from stress. The lead poem features a rosary obtained from Dachau and tells the story about the marriage ceremony of two people who choose to spend their honeymoon in southern Germany and Poland. When the couple brings the Dachau strand back as a gift for the poet, she experiences revelations while using it and wishes the couple had kept the rosary and used it to preserve their marriage. Whether writing about glass beads, precious stones, or wooden beads, Moore is always cognizant of the word 'bede,' the old English word that means 'prayer,' and of the cogent spiritual energy within each strand of beads."

A Strand of Beads will be released in a few weeks and will be available on, or may be ordered by mail from Border Press, P.O. Box 3124, Sewanee, TN 37375.

1 comment:

Margaret Simon said...

The image is poetic itself. While I don't work the beads myself, my crochet work seems to have the same effect, prayerful meditation and focus on a gift. I look forward to this new collection.