Ruth Goring is a poet, activist, editor and artist. Her poems have appeared in Target Earth, White Pelican Review, ProCreation, Mars Hill Review, Prairie Light Review and other journals. Her “Adagio penitento” won the 2000 poetry prize from ProCreation.
Goring writes, “When I write poetry it’s usually pointless to start with an idea. I start with an image or a striking phrase and let it take me somewhere. For years I have thought of my poems as paintings: I want readers or hearers to be startled by colors, dazzled by the fall of light on some ordinary object or gesture. But they are not just visual; words are little buckets to scoop textures, fragrances, intriguing sounds, evocative flavors out of our teeming world.
“A good rule for writing a poem: You have to earn the right to use an abstract word. Abstractions—love, truth, perspicuity—are vague by themselves. But if you have been immersed in some wet ocean of shifting blues, the word beautiful may surface like Venus, sudden, radiant and dripping.
“I am learning how my poetry and art can serve justice. Mostly by drawing me into reverence, whether for the delicate plumes of prairie smoke—a diminutive flower native to the American Midwest—or for the planes of sunlight on the face of a Colombian campesina. I want to catch the trail of God's delight—and God’s abandoned grief—over this beloved creation. Drawing and writing poems are acts of contemplation, steps into sacred space. And the drawings and poems invite you to join in this prayer, this honoring, this love.
“This giddiness, ache, exhilaration, desire. We stumble and do not always understand. But these shades of yellow, now. These breathing trees. This laughter.”