poems by Jeanne Blum Lesinski
In Tethers End, written over several decades, poet Jeanne Blum Lesinski grapples with questions of constraint and freedom, the controllable and chaotic in poems that range from traditional forms to lyric prose.
POETRY / General
ISBN: 978-1-962082-08-2 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
Jeanne Blum Lesinski graduated from DePauw University with a BA in French. While raising her three children, she worked variously as a freelance writer and editor for nonfiction publishers, a home service librarian to the Amish, and a teaching assistant in developmental English at a community college. She wrote the best-selling juvenile biography of Microsoft founder Bill Gates for A&E books and did research and translation work for the hybrid film Poe (and the Museum of Lost Arts) by MiShinnah Productions. Lesinski’s poetry and creative nonfiction have appeared in journals and anthologies, including Ginosko Vol. 2, Poem, Revised, and Among the Happy Poets (Theodore Roethke Society). Her recent work has appeared online and in print publications, among others, The Dunes Review, Midway Journal, and Plainsongs. Her haibun “Embroidery” was a finalist in The Ekphrastic Review Women Artists contest. When not at her computer she might be found in a garden or on a bike trail.
“In Tethers End, Jeanne Blum Lesinski works a variety of poetic forms to tackle difficult subjects—the death of a child, the suicide of a teenager, the sudden heart attack of a beloved parent—while simultaneously reminding us of the presence of nature, the ‘almost imperceptible whirs of gulls’ wings.’ Here is her poignant observation in the midst of crisis: ‘A pair of rabbits frolics on the lawn near the hospital entrance.’ Consistently surprising us, she writes of love through the metaphor of a favorite cup of coffee. She traces psyche’s journey, observes the Amish in their rural community, and everywhere celebrates the caring of a parent for a child. Through it all, the poet’s humor prevails, as when a husband and wife agree that to accomplish the washing of windows, they may have to move to a new house. This is a collection that affirms the tenacity of human emotion, that refuses to deny its power, ultimately concluding that ‘history is the final proof.’”
“Jeanne Blum Lesinski’s collection, Tethers End, is a study in writing contemporary poetry: free verse—sometimes sprawling delightfully in form or content; sometimes sculpturally shaped; some using traditional capitalization and punctuation, some adapting to the poem’s needs—prose poems, rhymed poems, formal poems. Like the proverbial kid in a penny candy store, I find it difficult to choose just one, in this case, poem or snippet. But the collection’s quasi-title poem, ‘Tether’s End’ (note the apostrophe), focuses on a spaniel held back from its true nature by the desire for and distance of the object of its attention and its tether—interestingly enough, a line that holds it back, similar in ways to a poetic line. What the collection’s title, Tethers End (without the apostrophe), might suggest, I’ll leave to individual readers. But the unflinching gaze of these forty poems, which could easily be photographs or sketches in their precision, zeroing in on their subject matter in the pristine language they use, makes me feel like that spaniel. Except these lines, like all good writing, have caused to me break free from the tethers of my day.”
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