I think of the many minds who have met this poet’s love of life. Her life and travels have given her many things to include in her poetry and she writes deftly about nature, childhood memories, and thoughts that are sometimes mine as well. I enjoyed the entire first book of poems from beginning to end and found pleasure with many surprises.
The poem “Mystery” from her first book Beveled Edges and Mitered Corners is one of my favorite when she and her sister were helping plant seeds: “[We] knew Sister gave/each seed a mate/Two seeds to a hill--/one to grow, one to wait.” I can hardly wait for Lee’s second book to appear.
—Elizabeth Ann Watkins Ferguson,
The Louisiana State Poetry Society, President,
Founders Chapter, Poet Laureate 1999-2000
As her titles suggest, Lee comes to truth obliquely. Her poems have the precision, the carefully measured lines, the apt materials and spare tensions of fine carpentry. They frame moments which can never be caught with a direct look: moments of joy and wonder, anger and loss.
She brings nature and life into focus for us, And not only makes us see things anew, but lets us participate, dancing among the trees like her “ballerinas in disguise” in her first book. She continues to reveal her keen eye for imagery and sensitivity to the sounds of language in her second book, Shards of Light and Threads of Thought.
—Keith McClure, Associate Professor of English at
Baton Rouge Community College and the
editor of Black and Rouge Review.
Mary Elizabeth Lee is an observer of life and her surroundings. In her second collection of poetry, she reflects on her daily experiences that mirror her walk through life as a teacher, professor, administrator, and lover of nature.
Lee’s poems begin by exploring the four seasons that bring the promise of spring, new white rootlets, raindrops, and a bitter cold that quietly invades a farmhouse at night. As she gracefully moves into reflections that highlight life experiences, she lyrically scrutinizes a craftsman’s talents, the whishing of a butane heater, and the fears of a politician. Lee brings her collection to a close by looking within and exploring relatable feelings like obsession, love, and grief as she rides the cool breezes of her mind.
Shards of Light and Threads of Thought shares poems that reflect on one woman’s journey through life as she quietly observes the world around her.