Monday, April 29, 2013
She spent 38 years as a Catholic Nun, until 1973 when she requested a release to enable her to focus more on her poetry. She has taught at many colleges including: Univerisity of Montana and University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Psalm for a New Nun
My life was rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.
It comes back singing tonight in my loosened hair
as I bend to the mirror in this contracted room
lit by the electric music of the comb.
With hair cropped close as a boy's, contained in a coif,
I let years make me forget what I had cut off.
Now the glass cannot compass my dark halo
and the frame censors the dense life it cannot follow.
Like strength restored in the temple this sweetness wells
quietly into tissues of abandoned cells;
better by as much as it is better
to be a woman, I feel this gradual urgency
till the comb snaps, the mirror widens, and the walls recede.
With head uncovered I am no longer afraid.
Broken is the snare and I am freed.
My help is in the Lord who made
heaven and earth. Yes, earth.
This poem is from Madeline DeFrees' collection Blue Dusk: New & Selected Poems, 1951-2001, which is available here.
This is the first Kingdom Poets post about Madeline DeFrees: second post
Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: www.dsmartin.ca