"Why not fall on my knees, hushed / into openness?" the seeker and visionary Maril Crabtree asks in a long journey through uncertainty toward transformation. For this poet, to praise is an option not to be forgotten, even in our darkest, most doubtful moments. These vibrant poems suggest a woman who not only speaks from the perch of a varied and dynamic life, but also one who will never give up the search for justice and beauty in all its contradictions. "Take away light /and the world grows / larger and smaller," she writes, gracefully reminding us that the search is never over, even when the light goes out.
Catherine Anderson, Woman with a Gambling Mania
Fireflies in the Gathering Dark shows us the diversity through which the lyrical voice breathes and experiences poetry. From a mother's house to the prairies, from boxes in the attic to the belly of a poem, from the Midwest to Seattle, or through a conversation with other writers, Crabtree takes the reader by the hand and sees in these galleries of memories experiences of joy, love, sadness and peace. Mother Nature is also present in her many manifestations: a pine tree, wild grass, a blue heron, or the ocean where "tomorrow a new text will cast its alphabet ashore."
X nath Caraza, Donde la luz es violeta / Where the Light is Violet
I am struck with images set in scenes of recall- seersucker, trucks spraying DDT, a box of Christmas lights in the attic- all memories "from childhood's 'safe' harbor." I am struck with the detail of clothing most of all- a circle skirt, a scoop neck blouse, ruffled swimsuit, jeans that huddle close to the waist, the swish of a taffeta dress that keeps time to music, and socks in all seasons, of course. The words of Maril Crabtree clothe us with grace as well as the danger of "familiar terrors." Her work is a retrieval of memory in a whirl of primary colors making "something into something else." Her words provide necessary momentum for moving in traffic like a red truck darting "here and there like a dragonfly."
Diane Glancy, The Collector of Bodies, Concern for Syria and the Middle East.