When a poem shows me something in a strange and wonderful light and at the same time awakens some bone-deep knowing of my own, I feel more alive, I feel less alone. My soul is stirred and satisfied. The Book of Earth & Other Mysteries by Rabbi Jill Hammer, author, teacher, midrashist, mystic, poet, essayist, and priestess, is a whole collection of such poems.
Collection is not a vivid enough word. The structure of this book is more like a fairy palace, a sandcastle blazoned with shells, a dragon’s lair, a bold work of art in itself. The book begins with a five part prose piece called “Intentions,” the first four invoking an element and the last one holding open the door for us to enter the world of the poems. Here are a couple of sentences excerpted from each. Continue reading “The Book of Earth & Other Mysteries: a book review by Elizabeth Cunningham”