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The Collected Poems
PAPERBACK; Published: 10/12/2010
ISBN: 978-0-8028-2749-4
272 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6x9
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Audio CD included

Rod Jellema has been making poems for more than forty years. This beautiful collection is a distillation of his best work, also including a number of new poems that interact with and enhance the earlier poems chosen here.

In an age of glare, Jellema's poems celebrate the need for the mystery of darkness. At a time when earth-denying spiritualism is popular, these poems make a joyful carnival of the physical world, precisely because soul and spirit "matter," forming little incarnations in the configuration of the Incarnation. As a distraction from our love of bigness, they call attention to splinters and flashes, small fragments of the Eden we've lost that wants rebuilding.

One critic has described Jellema's earlier work as "bursting with raw poetic talent." The new poems are further evidence of that talent, expressing themselves not as a conclusion but as an extension of range that ripens Jellema's work into brilliant fullness.

Jeanne Murray Walker
— author of New Tracks, Night Falling
"Rod Jellema's life project has been to play edges against one another: light against darkness, joy against tragedy, life against death, spirit against body, language against silence. This collection brilliantly reveals a master at work. It is a book of astonishing beauty."
Margaret Gibson
— author of One Body: Poems
"This moving body of work tells us what is holy in Rod Jellema's world — not spirit alone, nor flesh alone, but their melding; not wind alone, but blown hair and leaves and 'swimsuits tossed on the vine to dry.' In this world, a word is a thing — a thing breathed through, infused with breath and life. Just so, these poems make of words a life, and they invite us to celebrate and remember what abounds and abides, what matters, what sings."
Michael Collier
— author of The Ledge: Poems
"Like his summer neighbor, the dulcimer maker who 'whistles to the wood he works / until the wood is fit for its strings,' Rod Jellema whistles quietly and steadily over the material of his art, and for five decades has made his lines and stanzas fit a vision of experience that records a deep, spiritual humanism located in community, people, and the natural world."
Greg McBride
— founding editor of The Innisfree Poetry Journal
"Rod Jellema's Incarnality, embodying a life well-lived in art, collects the art formed of that life: poems for which all readers should be thankful; poems that reveal a mind that is open, mindful, and generous; poems whose voices move from the meditative to the humorous to the self-deprecating. . . Incarnality is art of the highest order."
Andrew Hudgins
"Rod Jellema, like most mystics, starts small and ends large. . . But he is a mystic who never becomes mystical; he never loses touch with the earth. He's a poet of deep and humane good sense who's infused with an abiding awareness of the holy."