THE WISDOM OF SOPHIA by Todd Erick Pedersen


Nature, Wonderment and the Soul of the Sublime
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Pedersen’s (The Spiral Arms, 2012, etc.) short prose-poem-canticle-chapbook to Sophia, the goddess of wisdom, is an “homage to the soul of the sacred feminine.”

Pedersen seeks to illuminate “the Kingdom of Heaven as here and now.” A typical passage, stuffed with colorful words and high-sounding diction (not to mention improper commas), reads: “The scintillating flame, of an orange-descending sun. A white fire to the waves. The red-iridescent mystery, of this sun-movemented [sic] blaze. Withal the white-stellar and invisible ellipse, sifting like silver silk, through the deep-velvet dark.” The chapter concludes with “Remember when you pray…that you are a god,” but Pedersen forges little logical or even poetic relationship between that conclusion and the foregoing flame, fire, sun and starry sky. Pedersen explains in a preface that he’s being deliberately elliptical to achieve “an even greater concentration of meaning” and thus “a greater potency,” yet “this approach relies upon the work of time, the effort of seeking”—that is, on the reader’s effort. Nonetheless, deciphering powerful meaning from Pedersen’s truisms—we make our own fate; the Kingdom of Heaven is within—can be problematic and becomes especially difficult in impossible-to-parse accretions: “That in time our thoughts become finished, and yet the mind which does not disappear, is nevertheless and in its subtle cognitions, eclipsed utterly, by the wide-intricate wings of the Spirit and what it whispers to us, in dreams.” In some passages, the choppy sentences could be rearranged with little change in meaning. Additionally, the frequent repetition, particularly of color names, becomes very tiresome—argent-purple, white-argent, purple-argent, and gold-argent, for example, occur within one short three-page chapter.

A rich mythic, poetic and philosophic tradition that here offers more obscurity than enlightenment.

Pub Date: Dec. 13th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1452564821
Page count: 86pp
Publisher: BalboaPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
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