Again with the Light
112 Pages

Again with the Light



With poems composed over five decades, but predominantly for his 2016 Ashland University MFA thesis of the same title, Again with the Light is a collection drawn from an entire life. It comes, first, from a childhood on the autistic spectrum, improperly diagnosed, in which a fascination with forests, trees, birds, water, and rough pathways of the literal and metaphorical kind provide a landscape of imagery for the whole.
Increasingly, an attraction toward Christ leads through numerous permutations of faith and various Christian communities to Eastern Orthodoxy, an earthy, unearthly place with a connection to kenosis and theosis.
Along the way come lives of saints and prosodic experiments in a postmodern but reachable style.



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Published 31 July 2020
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EAN13 9781725264533
Language English

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Again with the LightAgain with the Light
Copyright © 2020 Matthew Robb Brown. All rights reserved. Except for br-ief quota
tions in critical publications or reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced in
any manner without prior written permission from the publisher. Wr-ite: Permis
sions, Wipf and Stock Publish199ers, W. 8th Ave., Suit3e , Eugene, OR 97401.
Resource Publications
An Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 W. 8th Ave., Suit3e
Eugene, OR 97401
paperback isbn: 978-1-7252-6451-9
hardcover isbn: 978-1-7252-6452-6
ebook isbn: 978-1-7252-6453-3
Manufactured in the U .S.A. 07/22/20
Italicized fragments from the chapter “Coming H Teom Ge” in race of Incorruption
by Donald Sheehan, as used in the poem “Donald Sheehan: Four Panels,” ar-e Copy
right © 2016 by Carol W. Sheehan. Used by kind permission of Xenia Sheehan (the
copyright holder) and of Paraclete Press
Te epigraph in the frst section of “Donald Sheehan: Four Panels” is a pre-viously un
published short poem by Donald Sheehan used by kind permission of Xenia Sheehan.
Quotations froT m e Psalms of David by Donald Sheehan are used by kind p - er
mission of the editor, Xenia Sheehan, and of Wipf and Stock Publishers. www.
Te italicized quotation appearing in “Te Elm and the Dove” comes from an email
by Julie Gould and is used by her kind permission.Dedicated To Kay Elizabeth Brown
my friend
my love
my companion on this journeyContents
Acknowledgments | ix Walking Around In
Wallace Steven|s 23
Enough Flashlight| 1
Mrs. Cummins | 24
Making Music | 2
Te Drives | 24
Blue | 3
Seedlings | 27
Cry To Te Lord I n
At the Lake| 29
Astonished Psalms| 4
Club Mosses | 32
Two Doves | 5
Seal of Approva | l 33
A Birth | 6
All My Windows
A Drop—No, Part of a Dr|o p7
Trown Open | 34
Te Button Bush | 8
Spaciousness |35
Eagle Marsh| 9
Slant Hosannas| 36
Greenway |10
Ailanthu s| 38
Intercessions 11|
Guitarist With Green Tr| e39es
My Lord, My God | 12
You Are Not Your|s 40
With Us | 14
Dedication of the Cata lpa’s
Bright and Earl|y 15 Tird Transplantin| g41
Home Away | 16 Story: Morning Glor|y 42
Foray | 17 Under the Lights| 43
Abstract: Red Sphere, Gold Constellations 44|
Corner-Cut Rectangle with
Including Time to Tin|k 45
Green and Curve| 18
Tuileries 47|
Madame Lydia| 19
Te Katydid’s Song| 50
Outside | 20
Inventor |51
A Boy | 21
Big Bush Brewer y
Te Givenness of t he
by the Dunes| 52
Oak Leaves| 22Let It Be Te End Of Apr | il53 Beside the Seine| 77
Lif | 54 Late | 78
Lake | 55 A Year | 79
For My Father | 56 Dirt Piles| 81
Light is Born| 57 Whirlpool | 82
Two Foretellings| 58 Letter to Angie Est|es 83
Two into On|e 59 A Glass Case | 84
October |60 Again With the Ligh|t 88
A Small Patch of Flower s Te Earth Has Yielde d
(A Conversation) | 61 Its Fruits—Psalm 66 | 89
Daddy Long-Legs | 62 Why Does the Lord? | 90
Put Your Feet Up| 63 Shore Drive | 91
A Moth on Bark| 64 Barks | 92
Donald Sheehan: Four Pane|l s65 Te Earth Is So Patien | t93
Te Elm and the Dove| 70 West Sugnet| 94
Free As Smoke| 72 To Bob Lax | 95
Te Blue | 73 To Mary| 97
Toward Resurrectio| 74n Mirrors Of Gethsema |n 98e
Tird Shif Break Tim e,
Bibliographical Note | 99Loading Dock| 75
Bibliography | 101Saint Isaac and the Sna|k e76 Acknowledgments
The author wishes to thank the following publications that frst brought
out some of these poems for their patronage and their permissio- n to repub
lish these works. I also wish to thank those sources of material used in these
poems who graciously gave their permission to use their material:
Black Fork Review, an online publication of Ashland University, for
“Enough Flashlight.”
Sheehan, Donald: Te Psalms of David. Used by permission of Wipf
and Stock Publishers. . Used as epigraph in “Cry to
the Lord in Astonished Psalms.”
Landlocked Lyres, who frst published “A Drop, No Part of a Drop,”
“Te Button Bush,” “Eagle Marsh,” and “Greenway.”
Ancient Paths Literary Magazine, who frst took “My Lord, My God”
and reposted “Free as Smoke,” which had frst appeaInr eC d in ommunion,
a journal of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship.
Water Rising by Garth Evans and Leila Philip, for the Evans wa- ter
color that inspired “Abstract: Red Sphere, Gold Corner-cut Rectangle with
Green and Curve,” which in turn they posted at
the-ekphrasis-project.html .
Image for including “Te Givenness of the Oak Leaves” in I102 s sue
of their journal, and Robert Cording and Wallace Stevens for giving me a
framework in which to place this event from early life.
Barking Sycamores: Neurodivergent Voices in Literature and Art, and
its editors V.E. Maday and N.I. Nicholson, whom I met in the course of my
MFA studies at Ashland University, for using my poems “Mrs. Cummins,”
“Te Drives,” “Seedlings,” and “At the Lake.”
Green River Review, which published “You Are Not Yours” and “Te
Katydid’s song.”
Seeds In the Black Earth, for printing “A Birth,” “For My Father -” (un
der the title “On the Blackhawk Road”), “To Bob Lax,” and “Tird Shif
Break Time, Loading Dock.”
ixA c k no w l e d g me n t s
Paraclete Press, publishers oTe f Grace of Incorruption by Donald and
Xenia Sheehan, as well as the copyright holder Xenia Sheehan, for kind
permission to use quoted material in “Don Sheehan: Four Panel-s.” Quo
tations, which appear in italics, come fTe ro G m race of Incorruption by
Donald and Xenia SheehaChn; rist and his mother and all his hallows is a
line from Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “Te Starlight Night.” Te epigraph in
“One: Wisteria” is a short, unpublished poem of Donald Sheehan used by
kind permission of his widow, Xenia Sheehan.
Tanks to Galway Kinnell, whose poem “Saint Francis and the Sow”
became the model for “Saint Isaac and the Snake,” an emulation done for
one of my MFA writing classes. Te original emulation, which followed
Kinnel’s poem rather closely, was gradually revised to become distinctly my
own style. Te image of the snake as a long story is adapted from a poem by
Robert Siegel, my mentor as a young man.
Te poems at the end of the book, beginning with “Why Does the
Lord,” come from an earlier period. Some are unpublished, and o -thers ap
peared as follows: “Why Does the Lord?”: in a local church arts publication.
“Shore Drive”: Who’s Who in Poetry in American Colleges and Universities
1975. “Barks”: Te Bellowing Ark. “West Sugnet”: Te Poets of Now . “To Bob
Lax”: Seeds in the Black Earth. “Mirrors Of Gethsemane”: In several small
publications. Later anthologized in Te Country of the Risen King, Merle
Meeter, Ed., Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Ho1978use .
Appreciation, and more than that, is due to Angie Estes, Step -hen Hav
en, Ruth Schwartz, Leila Philip, John Estes, Kathryn Winograd, Kay Brown,
Lydia Brown, Joy Gaines-Friedler, N. I. Nicholson, Adam J. Gellings, Rosa
Lane, Judith Harper, Raymond Tyner, Robert Siegel, Gary Bergel, -Jim For
est, Robert Lax, Paul Spaeth, Carter Lee Aldridge, and my parents Lawrence
H. and A. Merivene Brown for their attention to this manuscript or some of
its poems, as well as other assistance of many and varied kinds.
x1Enough Flashlight
Annonciation—Flandres—Milieu du XVIe siècle (Musée Cluny, Paris)
A single Angel Gabriel, enough fashlight, flling surely not waiting for
the sponsor, the painter therefore summoned an army of angels in order
to make the most convincing scene!
(Google translation of the original French caption.)
Into the narrow room a ladder, like Jacob’s, comes down; Gabriel and his
entourage all in light at once appear, to infuse it with a word from God
which waits upon Mary’s reply. Above the window the Holy Spirit, the dove,
also hovers. No action, no overshadow, no salvation, withouYet Ms. ary’s
Blue Mary: her book, her lily, her curtained bed. Room more sumptuous
than we perhaps imagine, a place ft for this SixtSièecleen Mth ary, who
has cast her eyes downward, as if to catch the angel’s message not with eyes
or ears alone, but with heart. She will consider it there, turn it, view it in every
facet, long afer she has waved it into life.
Enough fashlight! I don’t know what to do with my emptiness. Tis cloud
of dark at midday—I wish you‘d show yourself, send Gabriel to bring a word
with tongs from the forge, another word—but could I take it if you did?
Quiet, two fgures converse in the street beyond her Gothic window
—more like tongues of aspen by the Seine, than those of angels.
1. “Enough Flashlight”: Te original French of the caption, at http://cham -bredescou 7152m/ :
Un seul Ange Gabriel, assez falot, ne comblant sûrement pas l’attente du comman -
ditaire, le peintre a donc convoqué toute une armée d’anges afn de rendre la scène plus
Tis poem also appears at: Ussesue-d by permission.