Poet Erline Dessie Goodell chronicles her spiritual quest

The poetry of Erline Dessie Goodell evolves from formerly unformed ideas, unconscious insights brought to light, and observations of nature and the world. Her new collection, Explorations: Sacred Places and Inner Spaces, serves to unlock three aspects of her personhood: interior musings, appreciation of ancient wisdoms, and love of travel to ancient, sacred sites.

Each of these types of explorations has enriched her world, and she writes with the hope of evoking new ways of thinking for others. “I hope these poems may offer gifts of insight to a variety of readers,” she says, “that they may become a catalyst to deeper understandings of self and surroundings.”

Goodell feels spiritual energy and action spring from music, meditation, and listening to nature and silence; and ancient wisdom writings such as the Tao Te Ching serve to remind us of what we already intuitively know. (One section of Explorations is devoted to sixteen attributes of the Tao.)

“Visiting specific holy places, standing on sacred ground and reflecting on their residual power has been an inspiring experience for me,” she says. “Of course, any journey or pilgrimage has meaning only when we return home, where we find the treasure waiting.”

In addition to being a profound philosopher inspired by feminine power, Erline Dessie Goodell is also a skillful poet. She uses language strongly and economically, sometimes playfully, and always movingly. Blending the arts, some of the poems are arranged graphically on the page to turn into visible images; and the part titles are decorated with symbolic images without words.

Erline Dessie Goodell is a retired teacher of adult education for Santa Barbara City College, where she taught Religious Studies and Women's Studies. She is cofounder and past director of MidLife Zest, Inc., and facilitator of workshops in women's spirituality. She is the author of Journey Toward Bold, Gossamer Ribbons, and Seeking Substance.

Sacred Places and Inner Spaces
Poems by Erline Dessie Goodell

80 pages, paperback, $14.00

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