Ball of String
Ball of String is Glenn Currie’s just released fourth collection of poems and color photographs.
His readable approach to his poetry and willingness to work in a variety of poetic styles has proven very popular and resulted in the sale of thousands of his books in New Hampshire.
His focus in many of his books is how our lives are connected to each other and to the world which we share. Whether they are the ties of flesh and blood or the ways we choose to live. Currie writes about his journey through life, and about the many strings that connect all of us through shared experiences, emotions, the need for humor, and the things we learn from our travels on this earth.
Ball of String contains many prize-winning poems and beautiful photographs that take us to places where we can reflect on life’s journey. We may arrive here and leave here alone, but the journey between is the precious gift that we have been given. Take some time to treasure it as you enter into the introspective fields of Currie’s poems and photographs.
String of Hearts
They came during the monsoon season,
Ten little red hearts, tied together,
Unfurling from the envelope
Like a smile.
I hung them from my locker
Where we touched them for luck,
And watched their flimsy, paper fabric
Outlast our war.
I clung to them for years,
Tucked among my wallet’s faded photos.
The words had worn away quickly,
Lost in the friction of life.
But the hearts broke apart slowly,
A remnant from a time
Where hearts bled so easily
That no one dared hold them close.
1865-Fields of Uncut Hay
She stood barefoot in the dirt road
Watching a blue scarecrow approach.
The straw was missing from one arm,
And his bearded face framed eyes
That had seen too many fires,
Leaving them the color of ash.
Dust devils swirled around his legs,
Trying to swallow him, but their assaults
Fell beneath his plodding steps.
He passed the little girl without a word,
Disappearing slowly over the hill,
One of many ghosts, haunting the land.
She stomped her foot in the road,
Making the dust flee on the breeze.
Then she sat down by the white oak tree
And weaved a bracelet from the uncut hay.
Her father said he would meet her here
When he came home from the war.
The elephant said to the firefly
No one could be as strange as I.
I dare dispute what you decry,
My tail on fire, your claim belies.
And though we both are odd, it’s true,
There’s some more quaint than me and you.
Birds that swim and put heads in sand,
Fish that fly and walk on their hands.
But upon the Earth the queerest, methinks,
Is the human creature, who should be extinct.
He has no skills that I can tell,
No wings to fly, no protective shell.
Predators see him as a tasty treat,
And he only runs on two of his feet.
He has no claws to fend off foes,
No fur to warm him when it snows.
So keep perspective about your flaws,
Don’t let your appearance give you pause,
Though often we be of bizarre depiction,
There’s one out there who is stranger than fiction.
Below are some of the comments received on Ball of String:
NH’s poet/philosopher, Glenn Currie says Ball of String might be his last book. I hope not. He is of an age where he can see both the here and the gone, the light pouring out, and the darkness pouring in. He lives among ghosts and secrets; nightmares, visions, and ephemera. It’s all ephemera in the end. Do visitors to the old farm “sense the stories in the silence?” He does. He gives us those stories in photographs and words. He meets me where I am. In this extraordinary collection of reminiscences and deep reflections, he may well meet you where you are too.
---Rebecca Rule, humorist, essayist, author of That Reminds Me of a Funny Story
Glenn Currie’s poetry and his new collection “Ball of String” brings us a new lens for everyday experiences, an intricate weave of life’s light and dark sides, playful rhymes and unique photographs to compliment his poetic selections. His poems leave the reader with layered meanings and implications to ponder long after the first reading is over.
—Barbara Bald, author of three collections of poetry: Drive-Through Window, Running on Empty and Other Voices/Other Lives
As a poet and photographer, Currie takes notice of the world the way …a beachcomber does after a storm-with a tenacious attention to the rough edges of life where all the treasures hide. “Ball of String” , his latest collection… is a memory box filled with moments of living light.
---Rick Broussard, editor of New Hampshire Magazine
In “Ball of String” ,… Glenn Currie matches arresting images with amusing and thought-provoking poems. Glenn captures both the profound and the quotidian aspects of life that tie us all together, It’s a book rich with food for thought.
Duncan McDougall, Executive Director, Children’s literacy Foundation
“Ball of String” has a terrific sense of serendipity. Glenn Currie has something to say about friendship and aging, nightmares and free speech, summer dresses and mama birds. His poems are wistful, funny, and often wise. The accompanying photos are a delight.
---Felice Belman, deputy managing editor, Boston Globe
Currie draws you in with photographs--- his grandchildren dancing at Short Sands, the wedding pumpkinheads, the stand of birch, coffee with friends. His poems offer even stronger images. Ball of String is sad, colorful, full of joy, full of life. A gift to the reader.
George Geers, journalist, President of Plaidswede Publishing