Marly Youmans

What Consoles the Fool

Think of the leaves, so effortless
In beauty, slipping out of twigs
And into air--their murmurings
In summer, flits and drifts in fall.
A thousand other things are his,
The sun between the branching wood,
The little fish that stir the streams,
The naked muse he followed long
And long until his feet were sore . . .

Glossary by Twilight

Leaf is for flocking with birds that return,
Sleeve is the fragrance of lily and fern,

Wreath is a stream in a delicate net,
Breath is the meter of sun's rise and set,

Sill is akilter and breathless and fey,
Glass is the spangles of light on the bay,

Twin is a longing for what I need most,
Twine is the marriage of flower to post,

Wing is the pinning of weight onto air,
Bell is the passing of feet up the stair,

Dream is the burning of scent in the mind,
Moon is the cheese with a magical rind,

Stone is a voice that will cry out your name,
Throne is the emerald heart of the flame.


So much that's good remains invisible:
The unseen stitches running in the cloth,
A father's morning labors at the fire,
The scales and exercises out of sight,
A sleepless mother, rocking in the night,
The cumulus and stirrings of the soul,
A past removed like a paper collar,
The gulf of years without a written word,
The distant nurseries where stars are made,
The moving edge and end of outer space.

Then why should I repine--that old, high word--
If my songs drift like a skein of gossamer,
Brightening as they vanish into blue?


Recent books by Marly Youmans are: an adventure in blank verse, Thaliad (Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing, 2012); several collections of poems, The Foliate Head (UK: Stanza Press, 2012) and The Throne of Psyche (Mercer University Press, 2011); and a novel, A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage (Mercer, 2012 / The Ferrol Sams Award + Silver Award, ForeWord BOTYA.) Forthcoming novels include: Glimmerglass and a reprint of Catherwood in 2014 and Maze of Blood in 2015 (Mercer).

Photo credit: Rebecca Beatrice Miller, 8/2013


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Marly Youmans
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>We are pleased to announce that Anne-Marie Thompson is the recipient of the Mezzo Cammin scholarship at the West Chester University Poetry Conference and Wendy Sloan is the recipient of The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project scholarship.

Judith Schaecter: I found the beauty of stained glass to be the perfect counterpoint to ugly and difficult subjects. Although the figures I work with are supposed to be ordinary people doing ordinary things, I see them as having much in common with the old medieval windows of saints and martyrs. They seem to be caught in a transitional moment when despair becomes hope or darkness becomes inspiration. They seem poised between the threshold of everyday reality and epiphany, caught between tragedy and comedy.

My work is centered on the idea of transforming the wretched into the beautiful--say, unspeakable grief, unbearable sentimentality or nerve wracking ambivalence, and representing it in such a way that it is inviting and safe to contemplate and captivating to look at. I am at one with those who believe art is a way of feeling ones feelings in a deeper, more poignant way.

I would describe my process as derived almost entirely from traditional techniques in use for centuries. The imagery is predominantly engraved into layers of glass; only the black and yellow are painted and fired on in a kiln. The pieces are soldered together in a copperfoil and lead matrix.
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