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An intense calmness inhabits the poems in Jeanette Miller's Unscheduled Flights. In poem after poem, Miller writes with an abiding patience that trusts in the powers of her perspicacity and courageous hindsight. Crows, flowers, paintings speak for her grief, happiness, and resignations. Wisdom is her reward as she discovers time and again the bittersweetness in her reminiscences and the paradox of holding on by letting go. "On my balcony a red-orange hibiscus opens/ every few weeks in a shrill of color," she writes at the end of "Edgarly Cemetery," "It holds this position for days, then closes/ to itself. At day’s end, quieted by stillness,/ a cup of tea in hand, I locate myself/ between short-lived blooms/ and all that distant flowering." And so she does. Miller's details transform into conceits with remarkably little irritable reaching. "Unscheduled Flights" left me with the impression that Miller had been waiting her entire life to write these poems, only to discover they had been waiting for her all along.
Equally appreciative of songbirds and crows, these lovely lyric poems seem equally at home with knowing—and not, accepting, and even reveling in mystery, in the shadows and light of desire and loss: “already our shadows have moved/past the replica of lovers,” and finding strength in a hard-won knowledge of what romantic love cannot provide, rooted in a growing self-love, and acceptance of responsibility, “He sees her eyes in his mirror. She has led/him to this impression.” The speaker’s capacity for acceptance is perhaps most courageous in grieving her toddler granddaughter’s death, in a poem ending with, “OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN,” a fitting instruction to readers of this soulful work. - April Ossmann, author of Event Boundaries
Jeanette Miller makes a stellar debut in Unscheduled Flights, a collection of poetry that spreads its wings and takes the reader on a journey of the imagination from George’s Bar and Grill to the River Ganges, from the mundane to the mystical. Miller heeds the call of the symbolic crow throughout, that call of unconscious transformation. With the detail, precision and perspective of a visual artist, the poet glides over loves lost and won, youth finally finding its grounding in age. A must-?read for everyone seeking a fresh new voice in contemporary letters. - Mary Swander, Poet Laureate of Iowa, author of The Girls on the Roof.
Paperback: 80 pages
Publishing date: March 1, 2019
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches