In this accomplished book, Mary Kay Rummel spins words into mysticism and magic. “Not to be ordinary,” she was drawn into the convent where she was forbidden to read fiction because the Superior didn’t like it. In “Patterns of Obedience,” she writes that she was able to leave when “words whispered in that wind/telling her to go forth and read, to never ask again.” Set free, she read and wrote and traveled, visiting early Irish history and myth. Throughout her book, bells chime in celebration as her words become exquisite lyric poems.
When one reads the poems of Mary Kay Rummel, one expects a certain precision of language, a vigilant detail, a concentrated lyric whisper that elevates the ordinary life’s ordinary aspirations. On these counts, What’s Left Is The Singing does not disappoint. But these poems are also transformative. Here we find beauty that resists adoration, caution that armors raised fists, and belief that survives religion… And if we don’t find distraction from our ignorance, we do find elegant language touched with music and some blessings and a few reasons to go on. This is exactly what we ask from our poetry.
— David Oliveira, A Little Travel Story
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