Frost's "momentary stay against confusion" is Barbara Esch Shisler's mode of trying to make sense of life through poems that worry the riddles of getting old, family dynamics, dreams, prayer, the evening news, bees-not to mention love, death, and God
"'Love every tedious beat/ of your dear and fleeting life,' writes Barbara Esch Shisler in her poem, 'To a Mountain.' And she takes her own advice, plainly naming a world of pleasures and pains. In her gaze, African violets are 'luscious birds in furry nests,' and meals at the Nursing Home, 'vague purees.' The strange teachings of Jesus turn and flash in her imagination. These poems offer good company for anyone brave enough to face the freedom and losses that come with age."
-Julia Spicher Kasdorf, author, Poetry in America
"In these brave, bright, searching poems, Shisler explores the fears and delights of that time of life when 'Old and new make love all day, / their souls curved close / against chill and darkening.' Within the necessary, painful recognitions of mortality and loss, Shisler finds her way to both an unsentimental faith and a lovely, celebrative lyricism."
-Jeff Gundy, Author, Somewhere Near Defiance and Songs from an Empty Cage
"Barbara's poetry takes me places I wouldn't go on my own, often with the surprising result of going more deeply into my own reflections about life, aging, death, faith and family."
-Richard A. Kauffman, senior editor and book review editor, The Christian Century
Momentary Stay is volume 11 in the DreamSeeker Poetry Series, and follows The Apple Speaks, volume 10
The Author: Barbara Esch Shisler is a retired Mennonite pastor and spiritual director, active in her Perkasie Mennonite congregation. Her life as wife, mother, and grandmother is filled with friends, gardening, dogs, movies, books and much more. Reading and writing poetry have been a lifelong joy and learning.
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