As promised: my gratitude post for Sheila E. Murphy, whose poetry has been a constant in my life as a poet, starting in the 1990s. Murphy’s multi-disciplinary work in both poetry and visual art, and her many collaborations with other poets, speak to her open and generous approach to creation.
I recently received Golden Milk, Murphy’s latest book, and soon lost myself in this quiet, self-aware, and inviting work. I admire the way she subtly interweaves realms of knowing and perceiving, and of self and other, with the greatest of ease. In some of the poems of this book, Murphy explores with a sure yet fluid hand various traditional forms such as sestina and pantoum, as well as her signature haibun. Murphy is also a flutist, and the musicality of her poetry shows a transfer between the two fields. The writing in Golden Milk possesses both a porousness and clarity that comes with a mature vision. This is a book to savour slowly and to treasure.
It was difficult to make a brief selection of poems from Golden Milk – I wanted to include many more than this space would allow. Besides, I want to encourage any who read this to buy the book and see for yourselves. So much here to be grateful for!
Below are three poems from Golden Milk.