|Winter Solstice GiftInvocation to the EastIn beginning, you breathe us aware.
Let your clarity ring through the air.
Be with us.Invocation to the SouthFlame and spark of passion’s power,
Point your fire like a flower.
Be with us.
Invocation to the West
Spirit of water, move free in us,
Invocation to the North
Come rich dark maker, give us birth
Invocation to the Center
Annie Finch is author or editor of numerous books, most recently Spells: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press) and A Poet’s Craft: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Sharing Your Poetry (University of Michigan Press). Her work also includes translation, poetics, and music, art, and theater collaborations. A featured columnist for the Huffington Post, she blogs at americanwitch.com and is at work on a memoir entitled American Witch. Annie directs the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine.
|“Any complete approach to the world needs to deal with the soul, the mind, the body, and the heart. Through poetry, I hope to bring the heart to meet the mind and soul of Cherry Hill Seminary. With rhythm and image, the tools of my art, I want to express and strengthen and contribute to this wonderful community.”||Meter wells up in me like the waves in the ocean, carrying ideas and images that come from someplace wider and wiser than my own mind. I open myself to these movements with my breath, my heartbeat, and my voice. I write for the ear.My craft as a poet is rooted in the rhythms of my body. The spiral that is carved in stones around the globe is the spiral I inscribe in each of my books when I sign a copy for a reader. I write for the Goddess in her myriad forms and for the Green Man in his wildness and strength. I write for the Earth.The rhythms and forms I have learned to love, and loved to learn, have worked their way up from the Earth through generations of human bodies. The craft of poetry’s language links our lives with animal and bird, whale and mountain and cloud and snow and tree, through the spiraling patterns of repetition. I have dedicated much of my life to learning these shapes, so that I can move aside and let their patterns speak through my words.Some of my poems are songs, chants, spells, incantations, blessings; some are rituals, plays, dramas, ceremonies. All are notes transcribed on shamanic journeys into the silence that births the heartbeat.I feel myself always as part of a spiritual community and I write to help give voice to the concerns and beliefs of my community. I am eager to write on behalf of Cherry Hill Seminary, and I would love to hear your ideas for subjects, shapes, occasions, and songs.Blessed Be,Annie FinchMay 5, 2012Wesak Full Moon|
“Online learning at CHS made possible a second (late life) career in chaplaincy, supported by professional credentials and a degree that would otherwise have been out of my reach. Now I’m a Community TA (teaching assistant) for Harvard Divinity School’s online Religious Literacy course. I’ve come a long way; thanks, Cherry Hill.”