A Charm of Finches
poems by Suzanne Rogier Marshall
Set in a northern landscape—both harsh and beautiful—Suzanne Rogier Marshall's poems are deeply rooted in the earth, the interconnection of self with the natural world and its greater rhythms. This collection begins with an opening poem in the voice of a maple tree, spreading its roots into six sections, weaving themes of endings and new beginnings, of leaving and coming back, of home. Her poems speak to the human in all of us and to our place within nature.
POETRY / Subjects & Themes / Nature
ISBN: 978-1-956056-35-8 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
Released April 2022 | Copyright 2022
Suzanne Rogier Marshall is the author of A Falling Leaf and Other Poetry Activities (Learning Publications, 1983) and the poetry chapbook Blood Knot (Porkbelly Press, 2015). A Pushcart nominee, her poems have appeared in The Eco-Theo Review, Sky Island Journal, SPANK the CARP, Cider Press Review, Tinderbox Poetry Review and many other journals and anthologies. After teaching middle-school English for nearly forty years, Suzanne retired with her husband to the mountains of New Hampshire, where she draws inspiration for her writing.
“Stepping aside to let these quiet poems breathe through their own intensities, as in the introductory poem where a tree awakening in spring hears underfoot the ‘fracturing,’ the ‘groaning,’ the ‘shifting,’ and ‘thawing,’ Suzanne Marshall requires us to become a participant, to do a new kind of noticing, a new kind of listening that, finding her quality of soul there, keeps us turning the pages.
“Nothing escapes Suzanne Marshall, not a tiny rock at the edge of a ‘whitewater roar,’ not the ‘rippled surface speckled trout face upstream,’ not even ‘the lacy litter of last year’s leaves.’ ‘What comes between us and a thing,’ Mark Doty once noted, ‘gives it its shine,’ and what comes between us and the barely noticeable in a Suzanne Marshall poem is her meditative intellect—the source of every poem’s ‘shine.’
“Here are clear-eyed, sure-footed poems that are lived in. She has thought them, walked them, infused them with heart and listened to their music, poems told nimbly between moments of everyday transcendence,‘diamonds everywhere.’”
“To arrive at stillness, at peace after turbulent years requires humility and a deep empathy. Suzanne Marshall’s debut collection, A Charm of Finches, has both. The rebellious childhood longings of its first act—for escape, for an adulthood that will come all too soon and all too harsh—give way to the subtle, wild pleasures of beechwood and goldenrod, an apple peel tossed on the compost heap for the deer to savor. As she navigates brutal winters and ‘the vast, dark Universe ever folding, / unfolding,’ Marshall’s compass needle spins toward quiet truth, reminding us that we do not have all the time in the world, but that the world may have just enough time for us. The settings of A Charm of Finches crackle with cold, but Suzanne Marshall’s lush, vibrant poems have thawed something long dormant in me.”
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