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Book details
  • Genre:POETRY
  • SubGenre:American / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:82
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9780999195710

A Gatherer

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

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Overview
A Gatherer, of Days and Lights and Secret Places is a new collection of poetry and accompanying abstract pastel art by Ethel Mortenson Davis. It contains 56 new poems and 12 art reproductions. In all of Davis's books images in the poems are intense, the language describing them so condensed and essential that each shines like a diamond. The contents of the poems intermingle the earth's beauty with comments, sometimes caustic, about the human experience. As one critic noted, she "is a clear-eyed visionary who observes the world around her and reveals to us what she sees in powerful poems . . . that are nothing short of mystical." If the poems are "spare in structure and economical in language," as another critic said. Her pastels "are a vibrant swirl of color and shape that engulf the senses with a richness that seems sinful." Together, the poems and the pastels "accentuate each other in ways that inspire new meanings and feelings, shifting like the interplay of light and shadow one experiences in a long walk through a woods."
Description
A Gatherer, of Days and Lights and Secret Places is a new collection of poetry and accompanying abstract pastel art by Ethel Mortenson Davis. It contains 56 new poems and 12 art reproductions. In all of Davis's books images in the poems are intense, the language describing them so condensed and essential that each shines like a diamond. The contents of the poems intermingle the earth's beauty with comments, sometimes caustic, about the human experience. As one critic noted, she "is a clear-eyed visionary who observes the world around her and reveals to us what she sees in powerful poems . . . that are nothing short of mystical." If the poems are "spare in structure and economical in language," as another critic said. Her pastels "are a vibrant swirl of color and shape that engulf the senses with a richness that seems sinful." Together, the poems and the pastels "accentuate each other in ways that inspire new meanings and feelings, shifting like the interplay of light and shadow one experiences in a long walk through a woods." A poem like "The Gatherer" illustrates the intensity of her images and the mystery of the wild woman in the wilderness as she gathers in the richness of the earth: The Gatherer He is not just a gatherer of ripened berries and roots, plants of every kind, but a gatherer of days and lights and secret places where treasures abound. He's not just a gatherer of summer strawberries, blueberries, and blackcaps, the northern red cranberries, but a gatherer of open spaces, a quiet still hill, and a meeting at last of his wild woman. She is there in the blanket of golden chanterelles among the deep pockets of the forest where he finally ravishes her with kisses to her mouth and blowing hair.
About the author
Ethel Mortenson Davis was born in Wisconsin where her parents were dairy farmers in Marathon County. Her years on the farm instilled a deep sense of the earth and the various forms of life. Influenced by the imagist poets, she has had six books of poetry published: I Sleep Between the Moons of New Mexico, White Ermine Across Her Shoulders, Here We Breathe In Sky and Out Sky, The Healer, Under the Tail of the Milky Way Galaxy (a 2019 Wisconsin Library Association outstanding book of poetry), and her most recent, A Letter on the Horizon's Poem (Kelsay Books). Her poems have appeared in print in magazines, anthologies, and small literary journals. Davis studied at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, and her pastels have been featured in galleries in New Mexico, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, including Door County. Her artwork has also appeared in publications and on book covers. She currently lives in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin with her husband and two dogs where her daughters and grandchildren come to visit on a regular basis. Her son died of cancer a number of years ago. Artist's Statement I work with pastels with an emphasis upon color and movement, using both realism and abstraction. I start with an idea and make a series of pastel paintings following that original thought. The culture of other peoples and places has a great interest for me. Our connections to each other as human beings create a commonality.
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