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Living in the Nature Poem Paperback – June 1, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
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"In Living in the NaturePoem, Mary Sayler gives us more than just a journal of the natural world:she gives us an interaction with a world populated by characters as diverse ascells and stars. Exploring biology, astronomy, and sociology, Sayler writes elegantlyabout the 'universal need known to artists, children, poets,/who, poised inmystery, must/watch and wait and wonder.' And she does it with a nice helpingof humor, describing human tissue as 'cliques that become/known as Bone, Gland,Organ,/ Blood, Artery, Vein,' and recounting her battle with a bug in amusinglytheological language. Living in theNature Poem is a good read by an inspired writer, one who knows her craftand plies it well."
AnnmarieLockhart, Editor, vox poetica
"Mary Harwell Sayler allows us the opportunity to see thenatural world and nature poetry from a fresh perspective."
Dana K.Cassell, Executive Director, Writers-Editors Network
"In her book Living in theNature Poem, Mary Sayler gives us poems that explore the taste of mind,body and soul that are crafted with sophistication, wit and an emotionallysatisfying rhythm. It is an exciting read. "
AliceShapiro, Poet Laureate, Douglasville, Georgia
"In Living in the NaturePoem, Mary Harwell Sayler draws the reader into beauty of rural northernFlorida. Through these poems, weexperience its woodlands, its lakes and its wildlife (especially its birds)which constitute 'a wealth of wonder' where we 'cannot help / but see thechoreographed crawl / of the ant or sprawling pattern of / bees in thebeautiful buzz.'
"However, not all the poems in this rich collection focus on floraand fauna. Some of them concentrate onthe art of poetry, for example, or the realm of belief, where 'clouds of stars/ left us in the dust, expanding / our universe in this endless / genesis oftruth.' Yet all the poems in MarySayler's book are like the shops on the harbor which 'soften / into pastel hues/ smudged by a flamingo- / pink sun until every pane / of window glass / turnspeach-tinged, then / coral, then / rose-colored / and totally believable.' Thisbook is highly recommended. "
YakovAzriel, poet whose poetry books include Threads From A Coat Of Many Colors, In The Shadow Of A Burning Bush,Beads For The Messiah's Bride, and SwimmingIn Moses' Well
From the Author
Too often people feel disconnected from God, self, other people, and almost anything natural or in nature. Even more often (okay, almost always!) people feel disconnected from poetry. May this book remedy all of the above and help you to reconnect.
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One of the things that make Mary's poems so enjoyable is that she fulfills what E. B. White said, "A poet dares be just so clear and no clearer.... He unzips the veil from beauty, but does not remove it. A poet utterly clear is a trifle glaring."
As a student of Mary's poetry classes, I read some of these poems before they were published. I loved them then, but as I read them again I find that beauty, and brilliance, unveil themselves more with each reading.
If you love the South, if you love nature, if you are interested in elegant writing, I highly recommend Mary Harwell Sayler's, Living in the nature poem.
As poets often relay a depth to their visions Sayler is no exception. She will invite you on her deck, at the beach, or in a restaurant for example with the personification of Spring and how it comes "hobbling in, shaken down and limping."
You will enjoy the array of birds depicted, the ownership of the alligator on the lily pad, and the instruction the Egretta needs to follow immediately. I especially loved "Embryonic" as Sayler uses imagery to portray the birth of a poet's work: -feet intact
- toes and fingers clasped in couplets
In " Bearing Branches" Sayler uses imagery of a feeder, crust- shaped pool and branch swing to symbolize childhood, new families, grandchildren, and an empty nest.
I recommend this book of poetry where it will ignite your creativity and allow you to view nature through a different lens.
Author Sayler has multiple works worth exploring, along with a website and Facebook sign up for Christian writers.
Spring came hobbling in
on a stick
from a dog-
by pollen-ridden wind.
Spring came limping
knees of knotted pines
their pajamas of pink azaleas.
In a few short lines, Sayler packs images that are vivid, precise and arresting. Spring arrives hobbling and limping. It arrives with flowers, yes, but the early flowers of the dogwood are thrown and shaken down by the wind – pollen-ridden, yes, but suggesting a last bit if winter. And those alliterative knobby knees of knotted pines still in their “pink pajamas,” well, the poet is having some fun here.
I choose “Seasonsed” to start because it illustrates so many of the poems collected in "Living in the Nature Poem." And the three operative adjectives here are vivid, precise and arresting.
Sayler writes about cardinals and blue jays, whippoorwills and evening traffic that is more avian than automotive. She describes hiking in a cave and finding Dante’s circles in a dark wood. She considers the land of Oz in the Florida landscape, noting that “Dorothy was never a favorite of mine.” She passes Walt Whitman as she comes out of a Dunkin Donuts but doesn’t speak to him. She watches the power company trim tree limbs, the limbs becoming “disconnected service” as they fall to the ground. And she’s conscious of Carl Sandburg and Wallace Stevens as she considers fog and the landscape op the Gulf Coast.
And always present are the images of nature, even when she walks to a mall in Arizona, leaves Cozumel, or considers the American Dream.
Sayler, who lives in North Florida, is the author of some 25 books of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She blogs at The Poetry Editor and Poetry, under her name at Mary Harwell Sayler, and at Christian Poets and Writers. Many of the poems in this collection have been published in literary journals and magazines.
When you read "Living in the Nature Poem," and you should, remember those three words – vivid, precise, and arresting. And a dash of wry humor.