Review & Event Details: Gifts to the Attentive by Marie Marchand

Review by Sue Domis

"Poems are gifts to the attentive."  Paul Celan

Marie Marchand is the current Poet Laureate  of Ellensburg, Washington.  Her newest and second  collection is Gifts to the Attentive.  This collection is divided into three sections: Reverence, Resilience, and finally Reverie.  The beginning poems are about mental illness and the recovery process.  Matchand actually has dedicated the book to those mental health providers who have helped her.  In the second section the poet writes

         "My watershed moment came

           when I changed my mind

            about suicide."      


In this section Marchand's poems are quiet, lovely, and hopeful, filled with promise.  There is a melancholy poem titled Triumph.  In the  poem a child  is frozen in his fear, trying to ride a bike.  After minutes of fear, the child goes inside for a drink and returns with new found determination.  He then gets on his bike and rides off.  The mother watches and   "cheers with a wild joy that blinds me to the space that grows between us."     In the third section Marchand gifts the reader with poems of nature and of love.  She mentions many  classic poets such as Keats, Celan, and Yeats who have influenced her poetry.

Gifts to the Attentive is a poetry collection that is a journey through mental illness, and into meditation, love and life.  It is a book that asks to be read both aloud and silently.  Marie Marchand will be reading from and signing her book at Inklings Bookshop on September 10, 1 to 2pm.