Words from a member

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Nancy Purcell

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Mary Ricketson's new book, Lira, poems of a Woodland Woman


“Covered in this canopy of oak and maple, basking in soft breezes of summer,

Lira wakes to a day unrevealed, listens, reaches, sets the tempo.

Spirits invite her to live like last night’s doe, dance a jig through tall field grass, be the wind.”

Mary says, "This collection of poems centers around a fictional character who may be a little bit like me, and definitely very much a fantasy, an escape into the reality of life entwined with the natural world."

Order from Redhawk Publications:


Also available at Curiosity Bookstore in Murphy NC or City Lights Bookstore in Sylva NC.

The Lira Poems, Mary Ricketson’s latest book, certainly speaks toward enchantment. The poems enrapture ethereally with the little natural creatures on the ground – the deer, the rabbit, squirrel, the turkey and the dove – and the birds circling high over Lira’s garden, especially the red-tailed hawk. To see and imagine this “ceremony of embrace” tunes one to Nature, to the fairies, the weather changes, even as we feel ourselves participate, without intrusion, in the routine beauty of the lines, the daily walks with doggies and each of these lovely creatures. The book triumphs in that very special way of seeing a there there, and, then, again, inside the heart. The news? How marvelous to be alive! --Shelby Stephenson was poet laureate of North Carolina from 2015-2018. For thirty-two years he was editor of Pembroke Magazine. His recent books are More and Shelby's Lady: The Hog Poems.

 In Lira, Ricketson steps into a world of magic; magic made possible by Nature. Lira, who early on wishes for everything “pink,” meets her prince, and after the two kiss, “pink roses still bloom.” But this collection is much more than a young girl’s typical dream. Instead, it’s a fairytale where Mother Nature is a Godmother, teaching Lira how to live through her interaction with trees, seedlings, deer, and fox -- all who become her family. These family members help her “weave a life of purpose,” where “bites of misunderstanding resolve” by Rose Creek. Both hardship and beauty befall Lira, who, by virtue of keen eye and imagination, wins the respect of the Red-Tailed Hawk. A must-read, full of sounds, imagery, and flat-out magic.  -- Rosemary Royston, author of Second Sight, and Splitting the Soil

While reading Mary Ricketson's, Lira, I felt I was an innocent, care-free young girl in some sort of fairy tale world wondering along in the forest. The book is filled with exquisite images, which Mary so easily reveals because she has a deep, personal knowledge of the mountains. However, if you read it closely, you will see there is a deeper, more serious meaning to these poems. To me, this is where the true beauty lies in this bittersweet book so well written. I can promise you this will be a special
and lovely read
.    --Glenda Barrett, author of, When the Sap Rises, and The Beauty of Silence

Take an enchanting journey in Mary Ricketson’s latest poetry book, Lira. Magic tumbles over changing seasons at Cherry Cove Creek. Lira befriends trees, makes family with animals, rambles in wildflower rapture. Gnomes and fairies are her playmates. Butterflies and bluebirds dance and a red tailed hawk hovers. Ricketson is an award-winning wordsmith inspired by the healing power of nature. This book is a delightful read!

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