Saturday, December 5, 2009

Abstract of my dissertation


Into the Glamoured Spot:
Numinous Nature, Fairy-Faith, and the Imagining Psyche

Linda Ann Suddarth

There are places within nature which are imbued with magic and beauty. This dissertation explores the numinous or sacred within nature which creates such a hold upon the imagination. The images of enchantment from fairy-faith open the realms of nature as a threshold experience, explored through the research of W.Y. Evans-Wentz and Katherine Briggs. The concept of the invisibles in nature as “Other” is investigated through the ideas of Mary Watkins.
When one steps into these enchanted spaces, one may want to spontaneously sing, dance, or remember a story. Such an enchanted experience signals that the invisibles or fairy-folk may be present. The Irish poet W. B. Yeats wrote “…the beautiful [fairies] are not far away when we are walking in pleasant and quiet places.…I will explore every little nook of some poor coppice with almost anxious footsteps, so deep a hold has this imagination upon me” (Mythologies 64).
A relationship between the human and natural orders of being encourages the imagination of both worlds. As Gaston Bachelard argues: “The imagination gives more than things and actions, it invents new life, new spirit; it opens eyes to new types of vision” (On Poetic Imagination and Reverie 16). The poetic imagination provides a way to enter the mythical spheres of nature. The imagining psyche as seen through the lens of alchemy, mysticism, and physics, is explored through the work of W. B. Yeats, Mary Oliver, and William Shakespeare. In these works, the poetic imagination creates stories that give visionary form to the invisibles of nature. This study also investigates the figures of Arthurian legend, Merlin and Vivien in their fairy aspect. Their story of disappearance into the primeval forest provides metaphors for the workings of numinosity within nature, such as the “return to the forest,” and the “sacred marriage,” explored through the thought of Heinrich Zimmer, Mircea Eliade, C. G. Jung, and Marie Louise von Franz.
Finally, an accompanying creative component includes a journal of active/guided/shamanic imagination, a journal focusing on travel to Ireland, and a collection of poems, which, taken together, contribute to the exploration of the numinous qualities of nature.

Friday, November 27, 2009

New poems


The falling slant of light
in autumn foretells
winter beauty:
orange, red, and yellow
have images behind them
of blue, white, black, and grey.
But I can only be
where I am,
inbetween things,
in the dancing light
and trees in all
their nuances
of glory.

She Shall Have Culture

My teacher asked me,
and gave me a letter.
I gave the letter to my mother,
who asked my father,
and he made a decision
that would change
my life forever.

I didn’t even know
its meaning
so foreign
was the assignment.
It sat lightly
on my twelve-year-old
so engrossed was I
in my dolls,
reading and writing
my first novel,
Women and the West!
I would much rather
he had spent
that money
towards a canopy bed
I so wanted.

He declared:
“She should have
some culture.”
Since landing in the new world
I was the first
of many generations of farmers
to do it.
Reminiscent of some old
social custom
of having the girl
be civilized and exposing her.
With that, my mother
got busy at the sewing machine
to make me a dress.

So for three times,
at three dollars per trip,
I got out of school,
got on a school bus,
and rode into
Washington, D.C.
to the national theater,

into the wonder
of red velvet chairs,
the darkened room,
and watched the lights
come up
on Leonard Bernstein
and the young people’s

The Wind, The Wind, My Dear

The morning is dream-like
with a miraculous sky,
all of a sudden it is cold
the wind blustery.

Christmas can be glimpsed
in the space between branches
where the leaves were,
and where in reverie the soft
and steely sunlight
peeks through flying clouds
of pink and blue.

Winter is upon us, my dear,
and as long as we are warm
and the cat can sit
in the window-seat
looking out with me,
winter can be anticipated
in its beauty and severity.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Favorites from section called "nature" from chapbook "Stars Reach Down and Speak Diamonds and Rubies"


I hear you call my name
I cannot bear this night
I must have my dialogue
to know where I continue
where future meets past
I have a spark
tell me you see it.

The stars reach down
and speak
diamonds and rubies.


I laughed inside
all the way to sleep
when the rain came gently
and obnoxious funny bird
still undaunted loudly
called everything
he’d ever heard
day played over
even a cat, a train, a frog
such a thing
is faith I think
in the dead of night
looking at all sides
of that other reality

Cool and Hot

My heart is in my throat

a flock of starlings

soar overhead at dawn

then it snows

how it fills

the evergreen memory

with fluffy lightness

thrown at us.

Cool my hot eyelids

here on stupid earth.


Deep dark forest
even in just twilight
kudzu falls over trees
as thin layers of lace
make trees into
one sculpted shape
a mass of green
in the darkening air
the landscape knows
just beyond that ridge
an ocean roars.

Up over the ridge
and we break out
of the world
the stars blaze down
on a dark blue
night ocean
elation and fear
of that mysterious
moving beast
and its rhythmic roar
dawn in us.

This Grove of Trees

There is a wide circle
I am surrounded by it
and it is filled with silence
each day is a documentary
I consider what is growing
how to make my life sweet
the slant of morning light
the complaint of crows.

I will slowly turn moments
turning towards a breeze
nothing has changed
but it will
love and honor this
for I was born to love
even to disregard blue light
as great engines
slowly suddenly pass by
this grove of trees
shaking the ground
while I stand still
knowing this grove of trees

that I am here knowing
this grove of trees
was once not forgotten.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Moonlight Found Me

Moonlight Found Me

Last night the moon
secreted its way
through my window
through a tiny space in the curtain
and fell on the pillow
next to me.
It just happened.
So I put my hand
in that soft light
and caught a little
with open palm.

my new blog

Hello, so I finally figured out how to start a blog. I'm excited. Soon there will postings!