Kathleen Ripley Leo
Photo by Richard Tikiob
Detroit Working Writers
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This collection of twelve poems
was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. These well wrought
poems epitomize those particular moments learning the
world's secrets, and honor the ancestors who carried
their old ways into the new land of America. The
landscape and location of childhood is created.
poems in Kathleen Leo's THE OLD WAYS ring true to
life; crammed with child-like wonder and adult
advice, these carefully shaped memories have been
made only wiser by time."
archaeologist unearthing a buried city or a diver
recovering bright treasures from wrecks, Leo breaks
through the layers of contemporary life to reclaim the
lost world of memory; her story-poems bring back, for us,
the particular gleaming moments of a child first learning
the world's secrets, and honor the ancestors who carried
their old ways into the new land of America."
|"I think THE OLD
WAYS is masterfully done. It ranges, in feeling and in
execution, from excellent to brilliant. And in this book
Kathleen Leo enhances the American tradition of reporting
images, of glancing off surfaces -- we get in William
Carlos Williams and Charles Reznicoff -- until the facts
of those images reveal their own power and the passions
||Excerpt from II:
We children perched on
angel-legged iron benches
under an oil painting of white callas and silver
Our card tables were enveloped in white linen
as if a second skin wrapped us tight.
We listened to the adults at the mahogany table,
to their mutterings, their shouts,
their slips of the tongue into English
when their language was not enough.
We gaped as their fists jabbed the air,
or pounded and pooled on the table.
Chins jutted from white collared necks.
Women's voices slit men's low growls.
A violin in the background tore the landscape apart.
Tuya pravda. They were unbeatable........
||Excerpt from IV.
My grandmother's hands could
chisel mountains of dough and slap out
small circles for pierogis. She flattened
huge sheets for noodles and cooked great
pans of borscht and czarnina on the kitchen stove,
wrung the necks of fat hens,
sliced noodles, tender nipples of dough.
She drew up her flour to a tall cone,
funneled it with eggs and salty water,
gathered into the dough, and like an ocean wave, she
back and forth, her arms and shape given up to it.
She taught me to roll up half dried sheets of dough
after they hung like crisp linens over front room chairs.
Each day she make it fresh, folded it up fat and long,
took her knife and sliced it into pieces for the soup.
from Sun Dog Press: email@example.com $9.00 includes shipping.
432 N. Center Suite 3
Northville, MI 48l67
Contact Ms. Leo