Monday, April 22, 2019

Elizabeth Rooney

Elizabeth Rooney (1924—1999) is a poet who grew up on a farm in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. It is the same farm where the Cave of the Mounds was discovered in 1939 — an attraction well-known throughout Wisconsin. While raising their children she and her husband Mike lived in New York State, where she worked as an employment councillor. Years later, she returned to the Blue Mounds farm to run the Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark — a tourist site.

She didn’t begin writing poems until 1978; on a retreat with a group of Episcopal lay women called The Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross, she felt a call from God. Over the next two decades she wrote over 700 poems.

In a letter to Luci Shaw, she once described what inspiration for her poems was like: "Mine seems to come like butterflies, and I try to net them and get them on paper without knocking too many bright bits of color off their wings."

The following poem was written in 1981, and is available in her book Morning Song.


Now is the shining fabric of our day
Torn open, flung apart,
Rent wide by Love.
Never again
The tight, enclosing sky,
The blue bowl,
Or the star-illumined tent.
We are laid open to infinity,
For Easter Love
Has burst His tomb and ours.
Now nothing shelters us
From God's desire —
Not flesh, not sky,
Not stars, not even sin.
Now Glory waits
So He can enter in.
Now does the dance begin.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.