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Phases of the Moon Paperback – August 20, 2012
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About the Author
The beautiful county of Somerset in Southwest England serves as perpetual inspiration for Louise Hastings and her sensuous poetry, which contemplates the connections between the human psyche and the allure of our natural world. Louise allows her thoughts and emotions to breathe through the power of her artistic expression, creating a profound healing for both the mind and the soul. Follow Louise as she continues her poetic journey.
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'Phases of the Moon' is a carefully crafted and selected collection of some of the very best of Ms Hastings poetry. In this debut anthology she shows us the wide spectrum of her poetic ability. There are poems both joyful and melancholy, ones that will tease your heart or mind and sometimes both. It is a magical journey to savour this book cover to cover, or to just dip in and pluck a single poem out to read and leave you thinking about the questions asked.
Louise's writing proclaims her love of the natural world, also her emotional connections to the ethereal or other worldly side of this precious thing we call existence.
I highly recommend this book for both seasoned poetry lovers and those who may feel intimidated by the complexity of poetry, her soft yet powerful style of writing will set you at your ease and absorb your senses in the most wonderful way.
To return to the question Ms Hastings asks in 'Fireweed' a moment when reading this book maybe longer than you realise but you will not mind getting lost in its pages.
Phases of the Moon is a glorious concoction of poems that paint the richest pictures of an Awakening, `away from the grey and mechanic into the poetic and extraordinary'. In her opening poem, Shadow Dancing, Louise likens her soul to `a blown fuse' as, through the process of writing, she begins to accept the frightening shadows that have haunted her for so long as spaces of potential discovery, `where there is life, death and love'. Striving desperately to throw off years of shackled emotions, her plea is heart wrenching and obvious in her poem Monday as she craves the `twisted love and yearning' of life as opposed to one that merely `drips water along the windowpane'.
Her troubled childhood features strongly in many of her poems. In the poem Phases of the Moon she finds herself `walking the asphalt lights with jagged shards of memories', a child cruelly deprived of `amber flight'. Similarly, in Inner Child we find her `cloaked in moth wings and dust' as she `trips down present-day halls, corridors that smell of emptiness'.
Yet, far from being confessionals, these beautifully crafted poems shine softly like petals in sunlight: each one an epiphany that carries with it emerging hope as Louise, herself, becomes `a little poem that could'. Love, too, touches her like `a silken tendril along my skin' as, freed now from the trammels of her past, she finds herself `embraced by the scent of warmer rain'.
Whilst certain themes do emerge from this collection, each poem is always glazed with a degree of purposeful ambiguity. Louise has perfected the technique of wrapping her poems in intrigue as her words take us towards familiar destinations via unfamiliar pathways. Step into any of her poems and there is always something new under the sun for us to discover.
Louise's very first poetry collection, having touched just about every emotion it is possible to feel, leaves me thrumming with an inner contentment as her words linger like the aftertaste of strong chocolate. And the way in which she dips her poems into the universe and all its mysteries, for me, automatically draws out comparisons with the poetry of Mary Oliver.
It is so hard to choose a favourite poem from so many gems but I will leave you with the final lines of Seeing Zebras, a poem of time, mindfulness and liminal space, where:
`In my underlying consciousness
lies linear time,
full of yesterday and tomorrow,
flowing through heart and lungs,
through endless breath
where love is earth's glow off its edge.'