New Book by Sharmagne Leland-St. John!

Artful poetry is music, but it’s often hard to find thoughtful poetry that is melodic. “A Raga for George Harrison,” by Sharmagne Leland-St. John is a very special poetry collection with poems that read like songs. Some of the poems take us back in history celebrating famous people, poets and singers. Leland-St. John also shares her life’s events– its hardships, losses in love, and deaths of those close to her– that readers find relatable. This soulful and poignant book is a window into Leland-St. John’s life and experiences that have shaped her, in which we learn more about ourselves.

“Raga” is a reference to the melodies found in Indian music. Leland-St. John is a Native American author. Through “swaras,” the singer progresses up, then down the musical scale. Similarly, Leland-St. John’s poetry ascends and descends in tones.

Poems that readers will particularly remember and re-read are those written about George Harrison, Janis Joplin, Virginia Woolf, Allen Ginsberg, and Federico Garcia Lorca. She writes of those who’ve impacted her life, as tributes.

The poem “Lorca” is absolutely stunning, recounting the poet’s execution by Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War, amid the backdrop of the beauty and gentleness of nature:

 

Lorca 
by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

Across the ochre meadow
He stumbled,
Blindfolded.
Wildflowers dotting
Unfamiliar terrain, quivered
In morning’s cool breeze.
The same gentle wind 
Slightly ruffled his hair.

For a brief moment 
Clouds obscured sun
Then the high-pitched
Click and clink
Of metal upon metal–
Ammunition loaded,
Rifles cocked,
While butterflies danced
An erratic air ballet.

How would he have described 
The staccato sound of a firing squad 
As it shatters the golden dawn?
Or should one perhaps
Refer instead
To the sudden cessation of birdsong
Then the silken whisper of wings…
Beating
Against a blood drenched sky;
As seen through 
The dead poet’s eye?

 

In the collection, Leland-St. John appears to write flowing poems effortlessly, and this spurs the reader to write poetry, too.

Her poems are rich in imagery and often rhyme.

 

From “Tiny Warrior,” about the death of her baby boy:

 

You never saw the spring my love

Or the red-tailed hawk circling high above

On feathered wings my love

You only knew the snow

You never saw the prairie grasses bend and blow

And undulate like the shimmering indigo sea

 

In “Wild Dark Love Song,” the poem begins:

 

Her man,

A wild dark love song.

Borne deep within her gypsy soul.

He’s gone to live in jagged mountains,

Where salmon jump and sing,

In tarns

High above

The cloud lines

Beyond the silver moon.

 

In “An Unsung Song To Ron,” I liked this passage:

 

When you look in Monday’s mirror

Will you understand a woman’s fears

And when you see the rain next time

Will it remind you of my tears?

 

In the last poem, the last line of the collection, the poet speaks of “Tomorrow’s fragile dreams.” Yet the beauty in this book gives us the courage to move forward and appreciate our life’s experiences we learn from.

There is dignified expression and beauty throughout this fine collection. Don’t miss this highly-recommended book, elegantly produced by cyberwit.net.

 

A Raga for George Harrison, Copyright 2020
by Sharmagne Leland-St. John
94 pages ~ 54 poems
ISBN: 978-93-88125-90-1
Publisher: Cyberwit.net
http://www.cyberwit.net

  

About Sharmagne Leland-St. John

Sharmagne Leland-St. John, 15-time Pushcart Prize nominee, is a Native American poet,
concert performer, lyricist, artist and filmmaker. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the
19-year-old literary and cultural arts journal Quill and Parchment.com.

The author spends time at home in the Hollywood Hills in California, her fly fishing
lodge on the Stillaguamish River in the Pacific Northwest, a casita/writer’s retreat
in Taos, N.M. and her villa in Tuscany. She is the founder of fogdog poetry in
Arlington, WA and tours the United States, Canada, and England as a performance poet.

She is widely anthologized, and her poetry and short stories appear in many
online literary journals. She has published four books of poetry: Unsung Songs (2003),
Silver Tears and Time (2005), Contingencies (2008), La Kalima (2010); and she co-
authored a book on film production design: Designing Movies: Portrait of a Holly
-wood Artist (Greenwood/Praeger 2006).

She is the editor of Cradle Songs: An Anthology of Poems on Motherhood, winner
of the 2013 International Book Award Honouring Excellence in Mainstream and Independent Publishing and one of four finalists for the NIEA (National Independent Excellence Award).

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About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
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2 Responses to New Book by Sharmagne Leland-St. John!

  1. donnabauerly says:

    Charlottte, how wonderful and generous of you, as always, to share the great writings of so many, and now←
    A New Book by Sharmagne Leland-St. John!

    Marvelous poems, Sharmagne–much for long life-time pondering.

    Donna, a recipient as well of your (Charlotte) ongoing support in our writerly worlds!

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