Thursday, December 30, 2010


Back from a two-week residency at Ragdale, an artist's retreat outside of Chicago. Pretty cold outside, but filled with warmth inside. I wish everyone could have the chance to spend two weeks doing what they absolutely love, surrounded by others who totally get why you love it. Plus beautifully-prepared food, good conversation and a fireplace. What a gift.

Sage, my current poetry project grew wildly while I was there. People talk about the "Ragdale effect" through which you create a year's worth of work in two weeks which is pretty close to what I was able to do during my residency.

A big accomplishment was writing the four poems, one for each element/season, that will define the four sections of the paired 'herbal' poems. (Check out the November Sage blog post for more info on these.)

I know it's really winter but here is the Air poem that will head up the Spring collection of poems. I am not a big cold weather person so let's remember light and green -- and consider all the ways we can open ourselves up in the coming year.


Fills her lungs, overflows
to the space around her heart, her throat,
the cavity behind her eyes. Inside
the motion of molecules, her edges
diffuse to a bouyant clarity.
It is spring. The trees exhale their green
lifeblood as she folds into the mist
that cycles from ground to sky.
Through dark blue nights,
she courts the constellations--
Aries, Virgo -- held weightless
within their virtues. Nothing
to collide with, nothing to hold on to,
no way to come down.

Beth Feldman Brandt (c) 2010

And if you really want that winter feeling, check out my fellow Ragdale resident Michael McColly's very cool blog here.

Want to be in touch? Email me here.

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