Book review by Karina Lutz
Recording by Karina Lutz
Strands of Infinity: Poetry to Reconnect
by Looby Macnamara
2016: Greyhound Self-Publishing, Malvern, UK
Readers of this journal will recognize some poems in British permaculturist Looby Macnamara’s collection of poetry, Strands of Infinity: Poetry to Reconnect, as we have published a few here. The slim but powerful volume is a response to and useful for the experience of the Work That Reconnects. I recommend it to anyone who wants to freshen their workshop habits with new poems to enhance your workshop participants’ experience of any of the four stages of the Spiral.
The first few poems explore the poetic or creative urge, but soon the poet’s awe of the experience and how poetry helps her connect to the flow of life gives way to more classic themes of Gratitude, including a sweet poem written by the author’s 8-year-old daughter, which starts, “Thank you Earth for everything.” Then it’s clear the book is structured around the Spiral.
Her poems for Honoring Our Pain for the World are often raw expressions of the pain of patriarchy. Others link all kinds of social ills and injustice and ecological crises, as she sees them all as coming from “the system/that promotes disconnection.” The poem “What colour is my rage?” would be a great debriefing prompt for Honoring; in it she describes fearing her feelings, and from that “skating on the numb surface…plunging” into them, where she finds “Instead of the unbearable depths of grief expected and rage that explodes through my body and throat/I find the connection with a deeper channel” and “This current of grace has swept away my rage and grief/leaving a dynamic peace, /and transformed the ice into/a crisp layer of power, resolve, and trust.”
Poems on the theme of Seeing Anew with Ancient Eyes inspire like seeing that “power, resolve, and trust” in the faces and actions of our comrades, colleagues, collaborators, and kinfolk in the work she calls “cultural emergence.” Poems in the Going Forth sequence, like the one called “Cultural Emergence,” ring like anthems of social change.
This is a treasure trove for facilitators of the Work.