Light in Light paints a river of illumined images highlighting the author’s compilation of experiences, emotions, and memories as not only being grist for the poems but illustrating a living and breathing record of the poet’s personal journey. Whether it is pondering the delights of childhood with its remembrances and long imagination, or later in life, being immersed in suffering, there is witnessing and validation. These conversational poems, chock-full of confessions of faith, are immersed in magic and music, rich imagery, and well-crafted design. The poet plunges into living out the ordinary through the extraordinary, by breathing in the secrets of the peony, the magnolia, the music of the dream. The poet waits for dawn, and for hope that liberates the soul through the natural world, with its transforming spiritual impact. This collection of poems is about health to the bones, the heart, the spirit, and it is through suffering and longing that the tattered soul is unlatched and liberated. As the poet scrutinizes the world, she sees with a creative eye. She scans her past and present with a wide lens, as a noticer of details and particulars, through the poetic expression of enlightening images and metaphors.
In Deborah Gerrish’s collected poems, The Language of Paisley, she begins with the moving story of her Armenian grandparents who came to America from Diyarbekir, Turkey just before the terrible Armenian genocide. Paisley, with its elaborate colorful patterns of intricate figures, becomes a vivid metaphor for her deep sense of the complexity of creativity, form, and poetic language. Throughout the collection, there are moments of grief and suffering as well as moments of joy and humor. In poem after poem, in her honoring of her family, her many moments of deep spirituality, her celebration of the natural world and her respect for poetry and the poet’s struggle, her reverence for life shines through.