Monday, May 15, 2023

Abigail Carroll*

Abigail Carroll is a poet living in Vermont whose new collection is one written in conversation with the Psalms. Cup My Days Like Water (2023) like it’s predecessor Habitation of Wonder (2018) has been published by Cascade Books as part of the Poiema Poetry Series. I selected both of these books and worked with the poet as editor to ready them for publication.

Walter Brueggemann has said of her new book, “This rich poetic collection is overwhelming in its rich imagery, its simplicity of wording, and its unflinching witness to the reality and goodness of God. Abigail Carroll is fixed on the concreteness of life as she sees it, even as she makes winsome linkages to the specificities of Scripture. If you love poetry, get this book! If you do not yet love poetry, get this book and you will promptly learn to love poetry—along with the honest knowing faith of this poet.”

Carroll holds a PhD in American Studies from Boston University, where she has taught both history and writing. She is pastor of arts and spiritual formation at Church at the Well, in Burlington, Vermont. Her other passions include photographing nature, and playing the harp.

The following poem is from Cup My Days Like Water and relates to the following quotation from Psalm 10:1 — “O LORD, why do you stand so far away?”

Where is the Lord?

Always hiding—
a well deep in the earth,
a herring gull’s feather, white,
waiting to be picked up.
Where is the Lord?
Always riding
the space between
breath and branches, light-years
and stars—
the bright, slow rendering
of who we were into who
we at last are.

Where is the Lord?
Always in song
behind a curtain, behind
a wall,
behind a truth too tall to scale.
Yes, always behind a strong veil,
a fire screen,
a heat shield by which we’re spared
the brunt of a vast love—
scouring, wild.

Posted with permission of the poet.

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about Abigail Carroll: first post.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the author of five poetry collections including Angelicus (2021, Cascade) ― a book of poems written from the point-of-view of angels. His books are available through Wipf & Stock.