The Harvest of a Lifetime
Poet Jeanne Lohmann turns her pen to prose
Now in her early nineties, Jeanne Lohmann has acquired a life‘s worth of experience and wisdom, and skill with words. Her reputation as a first-class poet is well-deserved. Now, in her newest book, she enjoys and shares her creative gift for short prose pieces. In Parallel Light is a generous serving of essays, fantasies, memories, and reflections.
Some of these pieces sparkle with humor; ”Cinderfella,“ for example, recasts the classic fairy tale as a tale about a rodeo star. Some of the fantasies, like “A Way Through Grief Wood,“ are dark or even spooky. “A Flower for Isobel“ and “If I Could I Would have Told You“ show quite different attitudes toward approaching death. The author reacts to the sensuality of older men, sometimes welcome (“A Kind Man“), sometimes not (“Pest Control“). “Harvest Moon“ beautifully portrays feelings of lingering love in widowhood: “This is love-weather I send to you, or are you sending it to me? No matter.“
In other prose pieces, Jeanne Lohmann remembers her childhood (“Sweet World“); her early boyfriends (“Along the Right-of-Way“); and the generous nature of her husband, Hank (“In Passing“). She recalls, in “Cat in the Chimney,“ the unsettling Loma Prieta earthquake. She takes us with her on trips to Ireland and Italy, as well as on walks through woods and along beaches.
The sketches, essays, and stories in this collection range from one paragraph to a few pages long, and each of them repays a second and third re-reading. In Parallel Light is a gift box full of small, great treasures.
Jeanne Lohmann‘s poems have appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies, and have been read on local and National Public Radio (Garrison Keillor‘s “The Writer‘s Almanac“). A Poetry Trail named for her is a dedicated part of the grounds at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, Washington. She continues to write, and is active in her local poetry community.