In this debut collection, Moore (Henrietta the Guard Chicken, 2006) offers poems borne from a struggle that enlightens, uplifts, and heals.
T.S. Eliot’s epoch-making The Waste Land opens with trauma and a “heap of broken images” but ends with hope. That hope arrives in the form of a single word: Shantih, a Sanskrit term that means peace, calmness, or tranquility. Moore’s verse cleaves to a similar pattern. It begins, she writes, with the unexpected, traumatic death of her mother when she is just 12 years old. Yet this tragedy sets her on a spiritual and creative path that ends in both beautiful poetry and, ultimately, serenity. She describes that destination in “Change”: “Om Shanti, Om Shanti … / Peace at last has caught up with me, / Since I have stopped the running / From fear / That had turned love upside down.” Peace is an important goal for Moore, but it is not the only one. The author organizes her collection around a number of other signal concepts. Among them is the notion of journey, which she discusses in the poem “Apology”: “I did not intend to leave you for so long / But I have been on a long journey / Releasing pain … / A journey I had to make alone.” Another is joy: “Look into the pond,” she writes. “And notice the joy / Has returned to the faces.” A third is oneness: “We will know we have manifested ONENESS / When we are both hungry, / But I give my food to you … / And as you eat, / I am filled.” She circles back to these ideas again and again, but her approach feels less repetitive than mantric. These key words, appearing and reappearing, focus the mind and calm the attention. The effect is both real and intentional. As the poet writes in her introduction, she hopes her pieces will nourish and sustain, providing a “full bouquet of inspiration.”
Poetry written to bring peace, both to the soul and to the world.