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Untying the Knot Paperback – May 5, 2014
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About the Author
Karen Paul Holmes has an MA in music history from the University of Michigan. She eventually moved south and worked her way into a career that involved her love of writing: She became Vice President-Marketing Communications at ING, a global financial services company. Karen is now a freelance writer and owner of two naughty Welsh Terriers.
Karen founded/hosts the Side Door Poets group in Atlanta and Writers’ Night Out in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In 2012, she received an Elizabeth George Foundation emerging writer grant for poetry. Her publishing credits include a number of journals and anthologies, including Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Main Street Rag, Caesura, POEM, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, American Society: What Poets See (FutureCycle Press), and the Southern Poetry Anthology Vol 5: Georgia (Texas Review Press). You may contact her through her web site: www.simplycommunicated.com.
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There are some of us out there in the world that savor poetry as much as life itself and if you like me, are one of those, or even one who enjoys the written word I would highly recommend Karens book.
It has been said that a true artist has the gift of expression in his /her ability to show it in their work.This is a brilliant anthology of a journey through life that navigates the reader into their own past experiences, her poetry has taken no less than life itself for a stunning reflection.
These poems tell the story of heartbreak and life's poison arrows that all of us at one time or another had to endure as the price tag for life itself, poems such as "To she who will not be named" "shoulda, woulda, coulda, "And so it comes to this." to say are compelling and griping is an understatement.
Together they all reflect the story of a woman who walked through the fires of a divorce, loss, betrayal, and despair only to rise with an Inner Strength that appears available only when all else is gone.
I have found this book as inspiring as its author and could recommend it as a great study guide for your book club, or support group.
It would also make a wonderful gift to anyone on the road back, and certainly a great read with your morning coffee.
Karen Paul Holmes is the author of "Untying the Knot: Poems," a collection of 49 poems published in 2014 addressing a range of relationships but focused on the crumbling and dissolution of a marriage. These poems speak to deep pain, the emotional anguish that strikes at one’s very being when what one accepted as the given in one’s life becomes the taken away. The title poem, placed about halfway in the collection, talks of recriminations and the personal guilt that the victim in a failed marriage can experience.
Untying the Knot
Why do knots form by themselves?
In my blow dryer cord,
cell phone charger,
What Boy Scout crept into the dark
to practice right over left
around and through?
And what of the sheepshank of worry
in my stomach,
muscles tied tense with monkey’s fists,
hair tangled in little nooses?
The twists and hitches in our relationship—
who caused those?
Should I have jumped
through one more hoop
to tighten our ties,
looped my love around up
one more time?
Like a rope,
our marriage failed at the stress of a knot
and frayed at the bitter end.
The questioning becomes anger and self-defense. The anger in these poems emerges almost naturally, fueled by the betrayal of not only a husband but also by a best friend. The poet tries meditation retreats, writing hate letters, self-incrimination (“if only I had…”), even imagining a reality show for saving marriages. But eventually it comes to sitting at a mahogany table, signing papers. The poet doesn’t achieve internal peace, but she does eventually reach a kind of resolution.
Holmes has an MA degree in music history from the University of Michigan but lives in Atlanta, After serving as vice president of marketing communications for ING, the financial services company, she became a freelance writer – and a poet. This is her first collection.
The poems of "Untying the Knot" are painful in their honesty and candor. The knot indeed unravels, leaving – an untied knot.
In Untying the Knot, Poet Karen Holmes writes about the breakup and aftermath of a 30+-year marriage in poems that laugh, cry, ache and make precise observations on inner and outer landscapes. As the book unfolds, its speaker moves through shock, anger and grief to a place of quiet strength, redacting the boilerplate phrase “as if the marriage / never occurred” from a divorce document, somehow finding a way to feel compassion for her cheating ex-, and figuring out that untying the knot can have positive as well as negative consequences. What you won’t find here is self-pity or false bravado. But you will find honesty, pluck, and a wonderful kind of hope that allows the author to transcend rage and despair to observe that “since the impossibly bad / had the audacity to happen, / then it’s possible / the impossible good / will show up soon.”