Woman With Crows
Ruth Thompson returned to writing in her fifties, after freeing herself from an abusive marriage, about which she writes in Woman With Crows.
In this book she creates a new mythology of the divine feminine, from encounters with hungry ghosts to the fool-crone, “dancing what she does not know to dance.”
Review from Jendi Reiter (7/27/14)
Of the numerous poetry books I’ve read this year, Ruth Thompson’s Woman with Crows (Saddle Road Press, 2013) is the most personally meaningful to me. I just turned 42, undeniably middle-aged, and my son starts preschool this fall. All around me, it seems, are warnings and laments that youth is fleeting, and we must cling to each moment lest it pass us by unnoticed. Woman with Crows is an antidote to fear.
This poetry collection, earthy yet mythical, celebrates the spiritual wisdom of the Crone, the woman with crows (and crows’ feet). Because of her conscious kinship with nature, the speaker of these poems embraces the changes that our artificial culture has taught us to dread. Fatness recurs as a revolutionary symbol of joy: a woman’s body is not her enemy, and scarcity is not the deepest truth. For her, the unraveling of memory and the shedding of possessions are not a story of decline but a fairy tale of transformation. One could say that, like Peter Pan, she expects that death will be a very big adventure!
If this all sounds terribly sentimental and “uplifting”, don’t worry. She’s not a sweet, neutered old granny. There are fireworks here, and snakes, and “ooze shining and blooming and with sex in it.” (Reiter’s Block)
Woman With Crows was a finalist for the AROHO “To the Lighthouse” Prize and includes poems that won the New Millennium Writings and Harpur Palate awards. “Dementia” was a finalist in the Tupelo Quarterly 3 poetry contest. The California Journal of Women Writers featured a fantastic interview on 6/19/14.