Poems That Recall the Past,
Await the Future, and
Celebrate the Now
Jeanne Lohmann uses imagery of fall to appreciate the seasons of life
Autumn in the Fields of Language, Jeanne Lohmann‘s new collection of poems, deals honestly and elegantly with the approach of life’s end. As she has throughout her career as a writer, she records memories of people, places, and events that have influenced her and made her who she is. Her poems display an appreciation of the cyclical changes in nature, and the nature of change. Now, “Heading into Port,” as she puts it, she gracefully says goodbye to strengths and pleasures of youth. Part One of this book has to do with “Coming to Terms” with loss, acceptance, and gratitude.
Some of Lohmann‘s poems tell stories, with plot and great economy. Some are made of clear, sharp memories of people. Part Two has nostalgic memories, many happy but some voicing remaining regrets. There are dreams good and bad, quiet meditations, and, in her “Generic Reply to the Week’s Mail,” a light-hearted but firm dismissal of trivia. In Part Three, the poet appreciates stillness and silence, as she learns to be ready for “What Comes Next.”
Part Four contains a concentration of love poems, mostly memories of a person, a place, a moment, even a fragrance. And there are poems looking ahead to a reunion with the past. In Part Five, Lohmann pays homage to fellow poets who have inspired her with their work and their love of words. She shares this homage in “A Pride of Lions,” a poem that includes Wordsworth, Valery, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Wendell Berry. In a tribute to Emily Dickinson, twilight brings memory of the poet’s loved familiar poems, silence invites music, and song ushers in the stars.
Autumn in the Fields of Language is a grateful celebration of Jeanne Lohmann’s life-long love of language.
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. In her nineties, she continues to write, and is an active mentor in her local poetry community.