Friday, November 19, 2021

the moon won't be dared: poems by Anne Leigh Parrish - Review

Our country has been through a lot in the past five years, and our world just in the last two years has experienced something that has been terrifying and heartbreaking. I find that I have become more reflective and so I am drawn to poetry. The subtlety of poetry resonates with me. What might look like just a verse on the page contains multitudes of thoughts on human nature and more. This collection is an excellent example of this phenomenon. 

While I enjoyed the entire collection, a few poems really stood out for me. "Pray" seemed to take on a subject I have spoken of often. The idea that praying for things (your car broke down, you're feeling guilty)...why would a higher power answer such prayers when there is so much suffering in the world. I'm not saying this is what the poet intended here. This was just my interpretation. 
pray because you're scared,
don't understand,
need something fixed--(he knew you lied, by the way)
or because your guilt eats you up
what happens when you die?
will you be paid back for the good you did?
and charged for the pain you gave? 
is prayer reckoning's prelude?
this wild, raging world calls us daily to a 
reckoning of our own
not an accounting or tally
no numbers here
just a nod to the laws
we don't write and can't 
pray to the riot of stars that 
hold to their own stillness, deaf to your 
devotion, blind to your flame
give thanks that they 
shine on you

"Snow" because I love snow, and I appreciated the comparison of unique snowflakes to the unique individuals of the human race. Again, my interpretation. 

snow falls
collects more

deadens sound
never fear, though
nothing deadens that

to look at the blanketed yard

and realize / remember
that every falling flake is

you wonder, during that
three-day storm
if somehow you
witnessed an
allegory of the human race

Lastly, an excerpt from "Grammar." 
[there's a difference between doing something because everyone says you should, and will shit on you if you don't, and doing it because you know that without you, it won't get done]  
Wow! Doesn't that pack a punch? Right to the root of...being a woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an advocate. It's time to realize we are enough.  

I highly recommend this collection. Poetry is important, and poems such as this make us think and reflect on life, the natural world, and what it is to be human. 


Unsolicited Press announces the release of the moon won’t be dared a poetry collection by award-winning author Anne Leigh Parrish that features artwork by Lydia Selk. In this momentous debut collection, the poet harnesses language to give readers a new vision of nature, the impossible plight of womanhood, love, aging, and beauty. Being a woman in a male-dominated society affords Anne Leigh Parrish the space to witness the world on an uneven keel. Parrish pays tribute to the splendor of seasonal renewal, but also weaves the harsh truths of betrayal and brutality into the laments holding the collection together.

Advance Praise:

Anne Leigh Parrish’s poems in the moon won’t be dared are an extended meditation that weaves through time and humanity, injustices and struggles, but with an eye towards love and beauty. These captivating poems carry an underlining ache of loss—past and future—but they are grounded in the present, in beetle and spider, in river and forest, in the windows that look into the yard. Parrish writes “we can only burn slowly over time,” and we see this book is full of light—fire, streetlight, smokelight, garden light, twilight, starlight, and in fact, “darkness/becomes light when the world bears us/along.” This is a voice willing to convey what isn’t working in the world, but also to always acknowledge what is—”a child of the night/who lived on moonlight and cold sparkle stars.” Parrish’s poems feed us, and they will “hold us long enough/to tinge the dawn with hope.”
—Kelli Russell Agodon, author of Dialogues with Rising Tides (Copper Canyon Press).

Available at Unsolicited Press and Amazon 

About the Author:

Anne Leigh Parrish is the author of nine previously published books: A Winter Night (Unsolicited Press 2021); What Nell Dreams, a novella & stories (Unsolicited Press, 2020); Maggie’s Ruse, a novel, (Unsolicited Press, 2017); The Amendment, a novel (Unsolicited Press, 2017); Women Within, a novel (Black Rose Writing, 2017); By the Wayside, stories (Unsolicited Press, 2017); What Is Found, What Is Lost, a novel (She Writes Press, 2014); Our Love Could Light The World, stories (She Writes Press, 2013); and All The Roads That Lead From Home, stories (Press 53, 2011). Visit her website.

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  1. Wasn't the art interesting with the poems? I especially liked the poems "don't" and "the plains as seen from above" with the art on the facing page.

  2. Thank you so much for being on the blog tour for this fantastic collection.

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