Harps Upon Willows by Shelly Bryant
There’s a reason Shelly Bryant is one of the best-selling science fiction and fantasy poets on the planet Earth, and you can find out what it is in her latest collection, “Harps Upon Willows.” Or, if you want advance notice, here’s a passage from the introduction by Sun Li, an English instructor in Shanghai:
“In a time rippled with troubled, frustrated souls, it is no surprise to see a poetry collection entitled Harps upon Willows come out, touching the nerves of loss, exile, sorrow, and hence, resignation, as is suggested in “Lament for Babylon” and “exiles’ mourning”.
“And yet, in places where negativity seems to prevail, the idea of potentiality spans and stretches, blooming across and between the lines. With the experimentation of form , the reader is invited – even compelled – to look into the negative space between words and letters to spot the flow of the stream, of Babylon, of the underworld and of consciousness, to see what is latent in erasure and lamentation. In various forms, the focus is unfailingly on what stays constant in a world of inconstancy.
“It is nothing alien to us, believers or not, to see the point in the verses: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7: 7 – 8). But do we? When hanging our harps upon willows, do we hear the sound of silence? If not, do we learn to listen and wait?”