Marilyn Ringer spends summers on Monhegan Island in Maine welcoming the dawn. According to a biographical note, she writes there "with a group of women who are artists, teachers, Gestalt therapists, and gardeners as well as writers." Ringer "has been a chef and restaurateur, a poet-teacher with California's Poets in the Schools, and a teacher of adult creative writing workshops."
She's gathered thirty-seven of her evocative poems, many of which appeared in literary journals, in "Island Aubade" ($12 in paperback from Finishing Line Press, www.finishinglinepress.com). The dictionary defines "aubade" as a "morning love song" or "a song or poem of lovers parting at dawn."
As the poet says in the title piece, "Let other mornings exalt themselves with portent's light, / and giddy eddies of anticipation. // Let other mornings sing of legendary heroes, of battles won, / long removed from the bloody cost. // Let them speak for the tilted earth as it chooses its inclination. // Give me this morning, this morning of waking into a breeze / of birdsong that buoys me up, // out of the heavy sea of sleep, out of the fog of memory. ..."
Ringer will be reading her poems, and signing copies of her book, at Lyon Books in Chico on Tuesday, August 21 at 7:00 p.m.
The surroundings awaken in the poet a sense of something about to break into consciousness. In "Night Ocean" the poet sings, "Muted and vast but not without voice: / rush of eddies, wave whisper, whale song. // Beneath the surface the dream floats, / suspended in such uterine sounds. ...."
The poems weave daily life, presence--and absence--into the island's natural rhythms. "I live on an aura's edge," the poet writes in "From The Periphery," "that prismatic in-between / of color and light; sometimes I am invisible / even to myself. // In this place I walk the dusty road / and navigate the island trails / unusually alone, // a comparison of loss: the old way / forever relinquished, the new / not fully born. ... // I dip into the salty hue breaking the line: / this side of air, that side of water; / this side of now, // that side of forever and after. ..."