The Darkened Temple

( 1 )

Overview


“Longing itself is nothing but the heart’s open spaces,” writes Mari L’Esperance. And in the open spaces at the heart of these poems is a mother who has disappeared. In a world of war and displacement, illness of the mind and body, imprisonment and violence both historical and personal, the poet leads her readers through a landscape of loss. In unadorned language, she draws readers into the interplay between articulation and silence—and finally offers a vision of redemption.
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The Darkened Temple

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Overview


“Longing itself is nothing but the heart’s open spaces,” writes Mari L’Esperance. And in the open spaces at the heart of these poems is a mother who has disappeared. In a world of war and displacement, illness of the mind and body, imprisonment and violence both historical and personal, the poet leads her readers through a landscape of loss. In unadorned language, she draws readers into the interplay between articulation and silence—and finally offers a vision of redemption.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Poetrykanto.livejournal.com

"In its conception, in its craftsmanship, in its moral bearings, in its production design, in its ambition, and, not least, in its humanity, it is a book that will resonate as only the authentic can."—Poetrykanto.livejournal.com
Edward Smallfield
"Mari L'Esperance accepts all of the responsibilities inherent in the use of language by a serious poet: these poems are faithful to history, to memory, and to conscience, acknowledging the pain implicit in any thoughtful life, even as they celebrate its joys and sensual beauties."

-Edward Smallfield, poet and coeditor of Apogee Press

Jane Mead
"In The Darkened Temple, Mari L'Esperance enacts the process of defining a self out of fragments of cultural and personal history, the traumatic disintegration of that self, and its subsequent painful rebuilding: by turns narrative, chantlike, fractured, and lyric, these tender, terrifying, and frank poems fight their way into song."

-Jane Mead, author of The Usable Field

Peggy Shumaker
"These stunning lyrics shine light on suffering. Across generations and across cultures, we follow intricate rituals of desire, of myth-making, of mourning. Via corrosive wondering about a disappeared mother, we arrive 'alone / at the gate of the unbearable.' And yet these poems, vibrant and necessary, return us to 'retrievable life,' to essential human mysteries."

-Peggy Shumaker, author of Just Breathe Normally

Carol Simmons Oles
"I'm deeply moved by these wrenching, exquisite poems. Like a relentless camera moving ever closer, The Darkened Temple surveys the speaker's 'crossing over / from innocence to knowing'-the disappearance of her mother and its consequences for her as she tries to continue. She endures through love, music, and dreams reuniting her with her mother. Their lasting confluence comes in these restorative poems."

-Carole Simmons Oles, author of Waking Stone: Inventions on the Life of Harriet Hosmer

Alchemist's Kitchen blog

"I urge anyone who cares about carefully constructed lyric poems to get herself a copy of this necessary book. I have read it three times and my inclination is to begin all over again."—Susan Rich, Alchemist's Kitchen blog

— Susan Rich

Women and Books blog

"Richly textured and admirably diverse in its structures, Mari L'Esperance's collection of poems, The Darkened Temple, stuns as it edifies a craving for depth in modern poetry."
— Glenda Bailey-Mershon

jmww.com

"L'Esperance's lyricism is stunning. Her sense of line and image, perfection. The lover of poetry and the poet alike will appreciate the skill and talent evident in The Darkened Temple."Christine Stewart, jmww.com

— Christine Stewart

Edward Smallfield

“Mari L’Esperance accepts all of the responsibilities inherent in the use of language by a serious poet: these poems are faithful to history, to memory, and to conscience, acknowledging the pain implicit in any thoughtful life, even as they celebrate its joys and sensual beauties.”—Edward Smallfield, poet and coeditor of Apogee Press
Jane Mead

“In The Darkened Temple, Mari L’Esperance enacts the process of defining a self out of fragments of cultural and personal history, the traumatic disintegration of that self, and its subsequent painful rebuilding: by turns narrative, chantlike, fractured, and lyric, these tender, terrifying, and frank poems fight their way into song.”—Jane Mead, author of The Usable Field
Alchemist's Kitchen blog - Susan Rich

"I urge anyone who cares about carefully constructed lyric poems to get herself a copy of this necessary book. I have read it three times and my inclination is to begin all over again."—Susan Rich, Alchemist's Kitchen blog
Women and Books blog - Glenda Bailey-Mershon

"Richly textured and admirably diverse in its structures, Mari L'Esperance's collection of poems, The Darkened Temple, stuns as it edifies a craving for depth in modern poetry."—Glenda Bailey-Mershon, Women and Books blog
jmww.com - Christine Stewart

"L'Esperance's lyricism is stunning. Her sense of line and image, perfection. The lover of poetry and the poet alike will appreciate the skill and talent evident in The Darkened Temple."Christine Stewart, jmww.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803218475
  • Publisher: UNP - Bison Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Series: Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 100
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Mari L’Esperance is a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at New York University, where she was a New York Times Company Foundation Creative Writing Fellow. Her earlier poetry collection Begin Here was awarded a Sarasota Poetry Theatre Press Chapbook Prize. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in several print and online journals and anthologies, including Beloit Poetry Journal, Many Mountains Moving, Poetry Kanto, Prairie Schooner, and Salamander. L’Esperance’s honors include two Pushcart Prize nominations and residency fellowships from Hedgebrook and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony. She lives and writes in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Table of Contents

Fog: memory 1

The Bush Warbler Laments to the Woodcutter 5

After Reading of the Expatriate Writer's Death by Shipwreck: Margaret Fuller, 1850 7

In the Valley of the Kings 9

Stroke 10

Something Coming Apart 11

Kamakura 14

Returning to Earth 16

The Doll Maker 17

Pantoum of the Blind Cambodian Women 18

Another History 20

Diagnosis 22

Trio 23

Prayer 25

The Last Time I Saw Her 29

The Search 30

Trying to Carry It 31

The Shoes 32

Caught 33

Where the Body Might Be, the Mind Follows - 34

Dark House 37

Beyond It 38

Finding My Mother 39

Forgetting 41

To Her Body 42

The Book of Ash 44

Grief Is Deep Green 45

For My Mother's Birthday 47

White Hydrangeas as a Way Back to the Self 48

Begin Here 61

What's Possible 62

After Fire 63

Two Maples 64

This Hour Passing 65

To My Father, Living for a Long Time in Another Country 67

The Choices Not Made 68

Last Hour With His Dead Wife 70

Longing 71

Map of the World 72

Happiness and Happenstance Share the Same Root 73

Epistle 74

The Night Garden 75

How It Happens 76

Nocturne 78

As Told by Three Rivers 79

Notes 81

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Book

    This is an awesome collection to have in one's own library.

    Everyone should own this work, along with Ohio Blue Tips by Jeanne E. Clark, The Photos In The Closet by Daniel E. Lopez, and works by Alison Townsend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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