Why the Willow

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'Why the WilloW' is the third book of poems by American author Hollace M. Metzger, released after her premiere public exposition in Paris as a multi-artist. This Fifth Volume of poetry reveals the author's newer tendancy towards "Looking Down to See Up" in both its imagery and reflective, rhythmic and often experimental use of language. This collection of poems has never been released in print or digital media. [70 poems; 64 b/w photographs]
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  • By gothicfaery2001
    Nov 4, 2010
    A visionary in the truest sense, Hollace M. Metzger once again inspires us to open our hearts and minds, noticing the subtleties presented in everyday life in her latest poetry collection "Why the Willow." While "Transcriptions of Time" was about open-ended questions, "Why the Willow" asks readers to "BELIEVE." Believe in thinking outside of the "box." Believe in the male and female energies surrounding us, polar opposites which blend together to create something everlasting. Believe that the colors on a "painter's palette" are nothing less profound than the colors of the human chakras. "Why the Willow" commences at the end of the seasonal cycle in winter, though it isn't a true beginning for a tree which has known many lives before--an ancient willow known for its medicinal properties, its significance in various religions, for its ability to shape and mold the living things around it. The book progresses through... More > spring to summer, summer to autumn, revealing the truth behind world beliefs as really being a reflection of ourselves and what we choose to see. Complex, formidable and deeply moving, Hollace M. Metzger's "Why the Willow" is timeless and a must read!~Christina Westover Author of "Precipice"< Less
  • By Hollace M Metzger
    Aug 20, 2010
    Why The WilloW a review by Garry Franks, BOWL Publishers Beauty of Washing Lines Quarterly - UK/Paris August 13, 2010 I do not want to emphasise the "modernity" and "now" of Hollace Metzger's poetry, an American poetess living in Paris, but there is something that roots though her feet and grows branches out of her hands. [First some facts about the Willow Tree. The Willow Tree is cross fertile with many hybrids. The Willow Tree's Latin name is Salix sepulcralis. It is a cross between the Peking Willow (Salizbabylonica) and European White Willow (Salix alba). The trees roots are remarkable for toughness, size, tenacity to life, with roots readily growing from aerial parts of the plant. It has both male (staminate) and female (pistilate) flowers which make it diocious. These flowers are known as catkins, which appear either just before or with leaves in spring. Its fruit is dispersed widely on the wind. The Weeping Willow is planted on the borders of streams so... More > their interlacing roots may protect banks against the action of water. They notoriously block French drains.] On opening this volume, there is a faded black and white photo of a Weeping Willow reflected in water, followed by the title poem (its French version closes this intensely lyrical collection) with its bowing/mirroring; "The Willow bows to see itself closer in its own fallen tears, puddles on the ground" ("Why the Willow") Hollace is not afraid to use archaic words if they are the best way to accurately record (and sing) the experience; "As each day descends to evening it's luminous tresses fill with color before sleeping." ("Why the Willow") In "Lava" Hollace is listening to John Dowland's 3rd book of Songs 1603 ("The Lowest Trees Have Tops") when suddenly death's "prison bars...", with its echoes of the metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell, do not seem so far away, where the poet must at last face "our shadowed willow's eaves." ("Lava") Poem titles add to the mirror theme of the opening poem. A poem has a title "Looking Glass" which automatically suggests Lewis Carroll "Looking Through The Looking Glass" and his mirror theme of opposites, time running backwards, poetry of Jabberwocky that can only be read if held up to a mirror. Hollace also alludes in her volume notes to the 2009 animation film 'Coraline' an update on the Looking Glass story (Coraline steps through the mirror and is met by evil alternative parents with buttons for eyes), and of course the poem "Whorescope" a running joke on the internet – an instrument like a periscope or telescope- or type of horoscope - to forecast finding of "women" in a particular area of town- but is there also a deeply intellectual allusion to Descartes via Samuel Beckett's "Whorescope" a philosophical egg riddle poem about time and reality about how a philosopher can only have an egg cooked after so many days after being laid –does that then link to the earth as "ovalyn" (beautiful egg) mentioned later on in the volume –do you know how the roots and branches grow? Hollace expands (the/a) Looking Glass theme; "We must seek something beyond our lost half, our missing other..." ("Half-Cent ipede") The centipede "mon frère", her lover, her reader, is addressed in Zen-like love moments of impressionistic poetry ; "Have you watched the sky in a day refusing clouds? Have you, my dear friend, hunched beneath the oak tree and watched its shadows change the redness of apples?" ("Half-Cent ipede") Hollace is not afraid to hold a conversation with an A-listed poet; "Ginsberg asked flowers why they 'seek the sun'" ("Once Was") I scurry to my well thumbed City Lights pocket book of "Howl" via Hollace's end of volume notes. The answer is; "The music descends, as does the tall bending Stalk of the heavy blossom because it has to, to stay alive To continue to the last drop of joy" (Allen Ginsberg "Transcriptions Of Organ Music) Remember the Willow in the opening poem? "The Willow bows to see itself closer in its own fallen tears, puddles on the ground." There are allusions and allusions and echoes and echoes, branches and leaves, branches and leaves, rustlings; "The 'Brambly Briars' bow to winds that move them" ("Half-Cent ipede") Hollace informs us in her volume notes the phrase "brambly briars" are from 60's folk group The Incredible String Band's "October Song" "Beside the sea The brambly briars in the still of evening, Birds fly out behind the sun And with them I am leaving" (The Incredible String Band) Variation and difference, being equal choices, root and grow in WWW. Hollace has; "...seen beauty in tree trunks that chose to grow in opposite directions" which naturally and organically leads her to her lover's face, the other, the missing half, time's breath-steamed looking glass mirror held her against her face; "I've seen beauty in your face again, like yesterday only differently than today." ("I've Seen Beauty") Or put in a more painterly, different way; "Two artists finding colors, new colours in an unknown place of unfamiliar name" which becomes " this moment in time, in this precise moment. I feel more alive than I ever have been." ("Spring in Sceaux") You can hear her loving heart knocking through her ribs, rooting in her thinking hand, writing down poetry. But in the same poem (the defining "Spring" of this four-seasons collection of poems ) she throws her lover and us the ambiguous curve-ball, a downward opposite branch from the same root; the dark side of the looking glass of opposites; "I am not sure who I'd rather be, You, wanting to live in time You know cannot exist, or me, hoping to find it." Where her companion's finger; "...terminates at a vase we taped your dying flower upright to." ("Spring in Sceaux") With its allusion to Ginsberg's "flower of joy" reversed. Suddenly there is childhood's nightmarish fairytale atmosphere; "GIVE ME five-hour journeys between trees of an endless forest, fence posts boasting their survival under hot summer sun, outliving horse's teeth that anxiously ate them alive." ("Give Me") The opening poem's theme reappears in the same nightmarish hue; "Leave me beside myself, in a Pond where tadpoles find no reason to grow, or in a de-frosting winter puddle widening its eye upwards towards approaching golden color" ("Leave Me") but counterpointed chin-up, with the metaphysical "Dew-Drop" of Andrew Marvell, "Leave me beside myself, in a single Drop of an April's rain shower, in the shining bead of Dew claiming its fortune on a magnified thistle, refusing to evaporate." ("Leave Me") Through the seasons from Winter to Spring the loss of time becomes increasingly plaintive as well as a yearning for Hollace to put roots down like the Willow Tree; "As I've passed through seven more nights to your day, the gray- ness between us, your youth and my day, your Toulousian youth seems carved in stone whose surrounding willows I watch grow downwards. I wish to be a part from your life. But, I am apart from your life." ("Man, aged") Autumn becomes a time for remembering towards a possible future, "wood crying sap" with this unforgettably tender mystical image, which also introduces the egg/fertile earth image; "This earth we're on is ovalyn.* Cubist Zen-cirlce in motion, vibrations-mystical, Your horseback ride across open-arched field; Your love found on the curve of Time's shoreline" ("Ovalyn") *(hybrid word –"ova" egg –"lyn" beautiful) Hollace's Autumn takes that disturbing image (to me) of the horses eating the fence post into something more homely, more loving; "I dine with you, eating wood chipped from the ladle" ("Witness to Beauty, Fading") Hollace concludes in this volume that there is; "...neither one singular answer nor one independent epicentre" ("Ovalyn"). Hollace Metzger is still unfinished, her heart knocking through her ribs, her thoughts rooting out of her hand - Poetry. But for now she is "home"; "Now, I saturate my eyes with sight and sound. The two coexist as I exist in this. I am seated on plastic, weathered chairs adjacent to a puddlle of vomit. I am "home. This is it." (Mannheim To Paris) Ah, and with a puddle of vomit we are back to here and now, the modernity. And I am, like the reader, the lover, all roots, and knots, and branches. Here is the French version of the title poem that ends the volume. Why the Willow Le saule salue bas pour se voir de plus près en ses larmes tombées, flaques sur la terre. Sa loupe révèle un torsefier auréolé du soleil, et l'ailleurs différemment. Plus les saisons passent, puisent cette tristesse, plus son miroir révèle sa beauté. Et comme chaque jour descend dans le soir, ses tresses lumineuses se sont remplies avec les couleurs d'avant-couchant. C'est pourquoi il pleure et pourquoi le saule, simplement, reste salut bas avec désir de grandir. Hollace's poetry is a dying fall, uprising within, fully engaged with the world, getting to know where she has come from - Where art thou, little bird, going to?  © 2010 Garry Franks, Beauty of Washing Lines< Less
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Midea, New York
September 30, 2011
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