About Uncommon Geography
Uncommon Geography received a Finalist Award
for the Paterson Poetry Book Prize 2007
In this book of poems, Uncommon Geography (Carpenter Gothic, 2006) Therése Halscheid chronicles her travels across varied terrain beginning with a stay in a log cabin in the secluded pine barrens of NJ, then moving to sacred environments as far as New Mexico, as well as other unusual settings where she has been house-sitting, such as a primeval swamp in the Pan Handle, Florida, and an elk farm in central Pennsylvania. These are poems that impart Earth’s consciousness, a higher learning which occurred while writing in each place. Poetry which also teaches us that the journey outward reflects an inner exploration, the landscape of the interior self.
In Praise of Uncommon Geography
"There will be more than one pilgrimage," writes Therése Halscheid in her poem, "Excavating Prayers," first published in RHINO 2006, and each of the three sections in her collection, as well as most of the individualized poems themselves, seems to enact a kind of pilgrimage.
Therése Halscheid writes a unique "religious" poetry, a kind that comes out of very early religion. It leads back, beyond pantheism, to ancient customs and "First People." It is influenced by folklore, and by the sun. It is steeped in primitive awareness, and an impassioned connection to earth...
Therése Halscheid is an observer of nature, as perhaps many other poets are, but she moves beyond surfaces to explore cosmic things, considering, for example, the extinction of the sun.
If nature hadn't existed since before time began, it would have created itself in response to the poetry of Therése Halscheid. And if ancient folk myth weren't slowly moving in our universal unconscious already, it would be awakening us now, as we read the sentient poems in her new collection.
Therése Halscheid could likely write a book on the phrase "art imitates life." But in the meantime, poetry fans can read her latest collection. - Jeannie Greenwood, Managing Editor, The Haddon Herald: Haddon Life section
ISBN: 0-9668739-0-4 US $15.00
from Uncommon Geography
-- house-sitting in the pinelands
I learned how to not be in the world,
the earth turned trusting
the forest began sharing
its old rhythms
gradually I wore less
until it was
that I stood unclothed
on the deck each night,
glad for the beginning of fur
on my body.
And my own sound came
from me then --
a primal noise I had,
for years, swallowed.
That noise, the slow starting of fur,
was there for
what darkness allowed --
that soft opening below,
of the dirt breaking
for when the flesh springs.