"While this is a substantial book of poems, one closes the book without surfeit. I felt that a great, rich body of a life fully lived has just been hinted atknew that I wanted to keep the book handy so that I could open it again soon, and often." Ann Hostetler, Center for Mennonite Writing
Summary: The prose poems of Helen Alderfer showcased in The Mill Grinds Fine are vignettes from her life as one of the earliest Mennonite women writers. She shows us the inside story of earlier times, tells the tales of a modern maturity, celebrates the natural world, and exalts the quest for the eternal. From birth through death as well as in between and beyond, Alderfer grieves, celebrates, articulates, and honorswithout simplistically resolvingthe mysteries of existence. See excerpts in DreamSeeker Magazine, Autumn 2003 and Winter 2009.
At any age, poets write to retain and redeem
memory, but perhaps even more so in what Helen calls
the winter years. From that vantage point,
she writes with wisdom and generosity, in love with life
yet mindful of loss.
from sentence to sentence, Helen Alderfers poems,
like letters from home, delineate by their quiet tenor
and sustained clarity the remembered particular landscape
of a richly attentive life.
Pick any poem, and
you have chosen a jewel of rare quality. Each word edge
sharply reveals truth about a life stage. Each facet
reflects beauty in an unexpected way. This slim volume of
poetry is a loving gift to the reader, bringing joy that
lingers long after the book is laid down.
Out of a lifetime of
tough wisdom born of deeply felt beauty, grief, humor,
and grace, Helen Alderfer writes of ordinary things with
eternal import: food for a tramp, the indelible glory of
a flamboyant tree, a sermon gone stale, Simon running
into town naked for lack of rain, the tender shock of a
childs eye-view, a fathers brand new suit
seen only in a casket.
Market: Alderfers poetry should appeal to general readers, especially those drawn to accessible, down-to-earth, yet still lyrical descriptions of ordinary life as well as lifes larger stages and transitions.
The Author: The retirement of poet Helen Wade Alderfer, Goshen, Indiana, is devoted more than ever to thinking, reading, and writing as well as active engagement with people and groups of all ages. Alderfer was an editor of Christian Living for 25 years and of On the Line for 14 years. She edited the book, A Farthing in Her Hand. Her poems have been published in Beams of Light, The Voice, Gospel Herald, Purpose, The Mennonite, On the Line, Christian Living, and DreamSeeker Magazine.
Shelving: Poetry; Anabaptist-Mennonite literature. BISAC: Poetry; RTM: 640 Poetry.
Cascadia Publishing House
© 2009 by Cascadia Publishing House LLC