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By Barbara Ellen Sorensen

Barbara Ellen Sorensen’s Compositions of the lifeless enjoying Flutes embraces the various joys of spirit and flesh, whereas acknowledging that loss of life is an ever-present shadow. Her lyrics someday sear, someday leap, and are rooted in nature and her lived environment—arroyos, tundra, riparian forests—and additional in another country in Haiti and Milan. those poems sing of the physique either beauteous and bountiful, and contrapuntally lament trials of sickness and surgical procedure. The spirit of her misplaced son pervades her musings. Incantatory and mystical, she bargains us “bells and charms/ that simply women can solid out like handfuls of sugar/ throughout any universe,/ any threshold.” This assortment richly rewards its reader. Its unencumber is an occasion to celebrate.


Barbara Ellen Sorensen’s Compositions of the useless enjoying Flutes is a ebook of lovely wakefulness. For it's a wake, yet whilst a party, person who specializes in locations the place the useless have been as soon as so much alive, areas the place we're such a lot acutely obvious and heard. the following they're deserts, seascapes, landscapes with households. just like the chicken wings that so frequently carry this wonderful debut, Sorensen’s flight is stuffed with gravity: “One day you're as gentle/ as a fowl, after which/ you're not.” We remain aloft by way of dwelling, by way of insisting at the protean physique of the area. Sorensen’s present is elegy’s transparent tune, the way it could conjure grace from critical affliction, vehicle crash, the lack of a baby. “The universe bears no flatness. Even its horizon is curved towards repetition. Your demise is a horizon. I run to slide over its edge.” but we don’t, we remain. by means of honoring, each one to every, our crucial complexity, Sorensen reminds us love’s precise provider is survival.
—Matthew Cooperman

These poems are attentive, scrupulous, and remodeling, as they vary from the sensuous to the religious . . . Opened in physique and spirit, the poet embraces her worlds, and she or he bargains again this poetry, which shimmers in its pressing, soft balance.
—Veronica Patterson (from the foreword)

Barbara Ellen Sorensen is a lyric poet within the feel that any fabulist can be known as lyric—a glossy Ovid supplying metamorphoses of the triumphs and ashes of human life in a voice instantaneously deeply own and fully people all. Mystic, mythographer, trickster and elegiast, Sorensen engages matters that might be ashes within the mouth of a lesser poet—relief paintings in Haiti, mind surgical procedure, and so much devastatingly, the dying of a son—with Orphic transformation and the deep fact of news we inform ourselves by means of the hearth to maintain ourselves alive. From the formal mastery of poems like “My Lithium, My center” to the beautiful unfastened verse of “Doubting Cremation” (“the great thing about a physique/ torn two times from mine, simply because all moms/ repeat the births of youngsters who die”), Sorensen offers us, in her Compositions of the useless taking part in Flutes, the checklist of her epic travels, her journeys to the underworld, and besides that, the phrases that would retailer us.
—Suzanne Paola


Barbara Ellen Sorensen is former senior editor of Winds of switch journal, the flagship book for the yankee Indian technological know-how & Engineering Society. She now freelances for The Tribal collage magazine and writes for the nationwide Indian baby Welfare Association.
Sorensen’s chapbook, track from the Deep center mind (Mainstreet Rag, 2010), was once a Colorado ebook Award finalist. She used to be nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her memoir piece, Ghostflower & Wind (Drunken Boat, 2012). An interview together with her are available in Fringe journal (spring, 2012). Her undergraduate measure in English is from the college of Iowa; her graduate measure in inventive writing is from Regis University.

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