One mark of many powerful stories of conversion is the role human love plays in the journey toward holiness.
Like the best marriages, the term pietas metrica, employed by the poet-priest Gerard Manley Hopkins, joins the highest expressions of nature and religion. Suzanne Underwood Rhodes’ Flying Yellow: New and Selected Poems further deepens and humanizes this notion, moving from the “pitch-black storms” of girlhood to a “ladder of arms” raising her to an ecstatic Sufi-like whir capturing in word and heart the fruited world around and within her.
This is no self-pitying record of defeat, but a book of rebirth and restoration, a fact suggested by several poems’ titles: “O Forgiveness,” “Therapy Dog,” “The Art of Meditation,” “Battered Victory,” “Stand Up,” “As I Meditate,” “Learning to Glide,” and “Inner Work.” It is a book of candescent triumph.
There is no way to separate a book published by 3: A Taos Press from its evocative layout. In this case, Carlson, Reed, and Dibella Seluja’s poetry collection, We Are Meant to Carry Water, takes for its cover image a sculpture by Lene Kilde, “The Nutmeg Princess,” part of The Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park near Grenada.