Perfectbound Paperback, 76 pages, $13.95
Her Heartsongs by Joan Colby, is a gathering of fifty-two previously uncollected poems that express the deepest feminine sensibilities. Intended as a final collection in a long and distinguished career, the book addresses the poet’s long-term themes of love and loss and how time and experience alter our perception. Colby combines a fierce intelligence with a focused emotional intensity to produce poems that resonate emotionally in her reader’s own hearts. She does her magic by combining deft imagery with last lines that leave her readers thinking. Colby is a subtle but dedicated craftsman whose tone is confident and wise, and whose musicality is powerfully feminine. Women may recognize their own hearts in these poems, and men may understand their mothers, sisters, and wives from a new perspective. A powerful collection from an insightful elder poet who sings from her heart.
“Emotional intensity and large sympathies characterize this collection, which is underwritten by an intelligence itself as fiery as it is sharp.” -Philip Dacey
“More than almost any poet I know, Joan Colby follows John Keats’ advice to ‘load every cranny with ore.’ Whether she’s mining salt or emeralds, the reader will be the richer for it!” – Dan Veach
“Colby is heir to Penelope, muse of shiver, drafting darkness and light into a haunting tapestry of wisdom and truth.” – Richard Peabody
“Joan Colby knows how to take anything familiar and have us readjust our view of it. Her energy never flags as she transforms nerves into a tapestry or delves into the structure of a foot and tells stories that go where we’d never have expected them to go. There is a probing character to so many of her poems, as they give up layer upon layer of meaning or suggestion. Such a pairing of imagination with the craft to frame it is a rare gift.” -David Chorlton