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Meditation on Woman Paperback – December 17, 2011
2016 Book Awards
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From the Back Cover
"Aline Soules' new chapbook, Meditation on Women explores women's realities, dreams, and imaginary worlds. Her fifty-six eloquent prose poems are sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, and always creative. Treat yourself to this collection." ~~B. Lynn Goodwin, Managing Editor, Writer Advice, writeradvice.com; You Want Me to Do What? Journaling for Caregivers (Tate Publishing, 2008)
"Fifty-six meditations filtered through the lens of a woman--a dazzling feast from an original mind." ~~Carol Smallwood, Compartments: Poems on Nature, Femininity and Other Realms (Anaphora Literary Press, 2011); Divining the Prime Meridian (BlazeVox, 2012).
"Discovering Aline Soules's Meditation on Woman is like chancing upon a long-hidden, primal road map for exploring the profound mystery that is the female spirit. How awesome it is to be invited into the raw complexity of woman's aspirations, failures, and triumphs. Every man who cares about a woman at any level of relationship will come away enriched and grateful." ~~Alfred J. Garrotto, The Saint of Florenville: A Love Story (2011)
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Top Customer Reviews
In the opening work, "The Third Eye," woman catches the cycles of her garden on video--winter cracks the lens, spring splinters it as the cycles continue. "In the end, the lens cracks again, into many parts, facing down, angling up, fractured. New shoots. The gardener's boots. Ants. Blooms. All splinter, like a kaleidoscope. Her eye captures fragments of brown, green, blue, pink, the blinding yellow-white of the summer sun."
"Evolution" recalls the magical-realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende: the blending of what is real and unreal as it relates a woman who grows a tail, senses what animals desire, joins them, and grows a coat of hair like them as winter approaches. A woman's connection to the world recurs in "Far and Near." One woman "gazes out a plane window at fields quilting the landscape thirty-five thousand feet below," while the other "hikes a woodland trail and stares into the underbrush." The first sees the world at a distance: "The roads make squares and rectangles around the fields. Lakes are thumbprints pressed into the land. Rivers squiggle and canals angle in thin blue lines. Tree patches are dark and fuzzy. Little towns clump together; house roofs glint in the sun."
In each poem the poet is seeing herself and in the process, the universal--an activity so simple and yet complex, full of surprises and reflections of wonder. I'm looking forward to Soules' next collection to savor, open my eyes, and enjoy the company of a uniquely gifted poet.Read more ›
A recent Poets & Writers featured six articles in a special section from leading writers about Inspiration--the importance of slowing down, making room for contemplation, and the possibilities for discovery. Meditation on Woman supplies readers examples of this in abundance as it turns the ordinary upside down, leaving the reader be they men or women to look at things differently.
The opening work, "The Third Eye", is about a woman catching the cycles of her garden on video--winter cracks the lens, spring splinters it as the cycles continue. Gardening is mentioned in other poems too. The second, "Evolution" recalls the magical-realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende: the blending of what is real and unreal as it relates a woman who grows a tail, senses what animals desire, joins them, growing a coat of hair like them as winter approaches.
Making one's own world is also reflected in "A Question of Balance" where a woman "...owns the river, owns every bird that skims...." In the surprising poem about a woman being roasted on a fire: "And as she turns, her eyes shimmer in tune with the heat and see in every direction. The earth, all motion, spins with her and she with it."
Readers can easily relate to: "A woman is good at guilt. Palpable and breathing, it lives in her house. It lies down and sleeps in her spare bed" and understand the mixed feelings the duality in relationships: "The woman looks at her sister.Read more ›
The everyday fuses with the fantastic by her choice of a matter-of-fact tone that unifies the vary different portrayals in the poems. How real the fantastic seems! The book contains such a wide range of emotion-laden action sequences as well as a very diverse array of situations moving from the grotesque and gory to the tender and beautiful. Humanistic warmth is very evident as is an unflinching gaze on tragic situations. I found bits of explicit sardonic humor and more lie beneath the fantastic surfaces.
The titles are important. Literary skill is particularly evident in Searching, Eden, Pond Life, Sing, and Chill. The subtlety of coming full circle in Pond Life is exquisite. I personally bonded with the woman in Sing for I was silenced for decades by ridicule. Its ending is delicious.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Meditation on Woman is a deep look into the mind of a woman through fifty-six meditations. Through ups and downs, and twists in turns in our lives, Aline captures every moment. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Children's Book Reviewer
I bought this one thinking it would be read in an evening. Turns it it's the kind of book that you pick up and savor only a couple of the short stories as there is plenty to think... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Mz Bull