Snapshots of the Wind
By Ruth Farmer
Snapshots of the Wind, my first full-length poetry collection, explores and celebrates waking up to the life around and within us. In these reflective poems, I trace the wonders and nuances of interior and exterior landscapes, seasons, and perception through three sections: "What's Seen and Not Seen," "Voice," and "Snapshots of the Wind." Drawn from a lifetime of moments that granted me greater clarity and homecoming, these poems meditate on the world, beyond headlines and tweets, where we really live.
“Snapshots of the Wind is an invitation to immerse oneself in what is beautiful and fleeting, both in the natural world that surrounds us and in the spiritual world inside us. This collection highlight’s Farmer’s sensitivity towards the ineffable landscape of life and art. In one poem she writes, ‘This poem is the dust of their galloping and even as I name it,/ it disappears.’ Despite this disappearing, this collection makes its presence felt by offering us a writer who is as rooted in the world as the trees she captures in her snapshots.”
~ Elena Georgiou, author of The Immigrant’s Refrigerator (GenPopBooks) and Rhapsody of the Naked Immigrants (Harbor Mountain Press).
“In her stirring new collection of poems, Ruth Farmer celebrates and grieves the gusty cycles of the Vermont year. The tidal fluctuations between winter and spring here in northern New England are especially gripping for her, as “a season that slips in/and out approaches and retreats/for weeks.” The intermittent press of light and wind to which all must bend both invigorates her vision and deepens her capacity for compassion. ‘Every living thing is co-author,’ as she writes in the poem 'Scribe,’ ‘of the story of this home called earth.’”
~ John Elder, author of Imagining the Earth: Poetry and the Vision of Nature (University of Georgia Press)
“Ruth Farmer’s Snapshots of the Wind teaches us, as we wander through the seen and unseen, how to listen to the world beyond our thoughts about it. Every poem here slows or speeds up our ears and wakes up our souls so that we can better attune ourselves to the seeming quiet or raucous unfolding that are full of life and sound, rhythm and change. “I will go where my heart knows things,” she writes in her poem, “Home,” while—throughout this vibrant collection—showing us where and how our hearts know things vital to living in real time.”
~ Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Kansas Poet Laureate Emeritus, author of How Time Moves: New & Collected Poems (Meadowlark Press)
“Ruth Farmer’s Snapshots of the Wind is a gentle observation of the natural world around her. Her acute witnessing of bird, tree, insect, field light, and more, create space for subtle introspection of self, and the relationship between aloneness and longing. The poems, interweave direct language, ‘The geese are flying east’ and luscious, 'this landscape / lingers between the moon’s saffron presence and the sun’s gilded emergence…' that both bring the reader to a moment of question, of curiosity, of insight, and allow the reader to linger there on ‘a sigh [that] will bring Spring.’”
~ Karla Van Vliet, poet and visual artist, author of She Speaks Tongues (Anhinga Press) and Fluency (Shanti Arts)
“Ruth Farmer’s Snapshots of the Wind wonderfully wanders, ‘igniting the landscape of a new day,’ watching and chronicling the cycles of days and seasons, with the eyes of 'ant and cloud,’ and snow and birch and oak and pine, lyrically wondering in 'the audacity of light’ of sun and moon, yellow wild flowers and hummingbird wings, and singing, with the rhythms of old houses creaking, trucks rumbling, geese in migration, chickadee, crow, and nuthatch, in season, and the poet, “the red winged black bird,” with her heart wide open. A singing, of 'the spaces between heartbeats and breaths,’ of awe, of joy, of grief, of love and longing. A poetry of wind and worlds and imagination “and herds of wild dreams galloping.’ A celebration.”
~ Gale Jackson, poet, storyteller and cultural historian, author of Put Your Hands on Your Hips and Act Like a Woman (University of Nebraska Press)
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Here's Some Poetry From the Book
What’s Seen and Not Seen
Unlike an oak tree, a paper birch does not have
a reputation to uphold. It pops up
in the middle of wherever, because it can.
Maybe it ran away from home, relocated
after being squeezed out by maples and pines,
got lost wondering if it could touch a passing cloud.
Its lone, white-barked presence is normal among
brown-trunked tree families, nearly invisible,
until it chooses to show its rebel self.
The dragonfly hovering at my kitchen door
The rat snake curled in the sun
The phoebe chicks in their eggs waiting to fly
The spaces between heartbeats and breaths
The chameleon orange then green then gone
The wind between gusts
This life and the one waiting to sing.