Fellow-feeling comes from fondness rather than from cognizance, for things understood are in the mind in the mind’s own fashion, whereas desire goes out to things as they are in themselves; love would transform us into the very condition of their being. —Aquinas
If by “love” we mean—as Aquinas does—the capacity to engage the world, the work in this book is a love-feast in the ancient sense: not an orgy but a riot of consciousness.
The four women whose work is collected here do not make up a “movement” of any sort. Nor are they even necessarily very much aware of each other’s work. Yet the furious energy of their varied inspirations carries them into a state I would call “collision.” There is no common theme or interest that unites these women other than their love and commitment to the art of poetry—an art which each of them evokes and simultaneously stretches. They stand within the energy fields they have fashioned for themselves—energy fields which are alive with a constant, continuing response to a world they did not make but find themselves a part of. Adelle Foley’s work evokes Classical Japanese haiku but moves beyond it into a reality that does not necessarily include a “seasonal” word or even an encounter with “nature”: these are decidedly urban utterances. Mary-Marcia Casoly moves beyond her excellent, quasi Surrealist verbal poetry into the exciting and increasingly visible world of VisPo. Mary Ann Sullivan goes further even than that into the world of poetry film. Clara Hsu’s work treats the entire page as an expressive instrument and extends into the world of multivoiced performance. You cannot be around these women without feeling their energy, the cataphoresis of spirit.
I have written introductions to each of the sections these women occupy, but I wished to alert the reader to the ways in which they connect as force-fields, as energy sources, as women alive to the multiverse we all inhabit.