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January 28, 2024



Wonderful imagery!

I'm so happy for Marsha. proud too. She's the real deal

Nicely expresses an irony: our desire for more *things* (something at the core of much our current dilemma) when the beauty of the earth and sky (thank you, moon and sun!) is pretty darn sufficient for gratitude and joy in the present moment.

what a stunningly sensual poem

The moon / a sow / lolling on her side...
Brilliant lines by De la O!

"The loneliness of beauty..."...Yes...right from the beginning it grabs you, a stirring deep inside...gorgeous imagery...."And still/I want I want..."...The illustration is perfect and the caption, most interesting...a poem and illustration that needs to be sat with...

Congratulations Marsha!!! What a brilliant poem!!

Marsha!! What great good fortune we have who are able to be in company with your brilliance. Your poem takes my breath away.

Lovely poem.

I want I want more Marsha.

Wonderful imagery, full of beauty—and, oh…the longing at the end! <3


The last letter in the name of “Marsha de la O” could easily be expanded into “O My!” That was my overall reaction to “Poem Beginning in Loneliness,” in which she gazes at and contemplates the world above, around, and inside us with a literate, sensual, affective, allusive, interpenetrating, all-embracing mind. Part of the brilliance of this poem resides in its steadfast and stirring reluctance to become quotidian in its multi-optic, multi-sensual examination of the world and ourselves in relation to it. Her uncanny, recombinant DNA-like use of words alters our perception and deepens our understanding. (Oddly enough, her poem made me think of Iris DeMent’s great song “Let the Mystery Be.” How’s that for associational reach?) And the interconnections lead inexorably to “I want I want,” words we may all be uttering with our last breath. But in the fertile mind of Marsha de la O, the repeating of those two words expresses not the desire to have more but to appreciate and value more of what’s in front of us, above us, and, yes, inside of us. It is the reward of concentrative alertness encompassing “how deep and cold / the standing stone” to “and sweet the light / warming its flank.” That imagistic contrast concludes fittingly with “and all the earth breathing.” The final image in the poem is “the sun ____ “beyond words / blind one furnace / who started all this.” And all I could think of at the end of this extraordinary poem is "I want I want" more of Marsha de la O’s verse. Better still, I need I need it.

Thanks, Earle. Your comments are brilliant little essays in themselves.

I love the originality of Marsha de la O’s language and imagery. The stream of the poem leads me to her stark expression of essential human need. and still/I want I want. I loved reading this poem and can’t wait to get my hands on the book.

Fabulous, Marsha! Well deserved!

What a gorgeous, well-crafted, well-spaced-out poem. I love the convergence of loneliness with beauty and hope. BRAVA! This poem makes me want to read more of Marsha's work.

A poem that explores an important paradox—the sensuality of being in this world and yet the divine discontent and yearning that is part of being human. As always, Marsha imagery takes my breath away.

Marsha de la O does not disappoint. Of all the above comments, I must accept Dr. Hitchner's as encompassing all, mine included, and I can only add my admiration and congratulations.

Love it.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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