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Poets

Nancy Jasper
Nancy Jasper is a clinical social worker.  She has been losing her sight for several years.  Assistive technology has helped her stay playful on the keyboard. 

Nancy has published six micro-chapbooks with the Origami Poems Project. In 2015, the OPP nominated her for a Pushcart Prize.  Her poems have also appeared in Leviathan, Gávea-Brown, The Wrackline, and the anthology, Missing Providence. 

Nancy’s poems and essays have also been heard on the Rhode Island affiliate of National Public Radio, as part of their This I Believe series. 

Here are links to the radio pieces:  Bearing Blindness and The Power of Poetry.

Nancy’s collection of Icelandic poems, Egil Is Baffled By Grief, is available through Amazon. It has been warmly praised by Nancy Marie Brown, who observes that the poems trick us into seeing the old stories in new ways.


 ►  Nancy's microchaps & selected poems are available below.  Download the single-page microchap by clicking the title.  To read the selected poems, also click the titles.

Origami Microchap

Selected Poem(s)

Commotion

 
Cover: Giantess gives out
shit and honey
by Lauri Burke
INTRO

These poems are based on an old Norse story
about how gods and humans
received the gift of poetic inspiration.  
They are based on Snorri Sturluson’s
account in his Edda.  

Snorri’s account is wonderfully episodic.
In the central episode, Odin agrees to spend
three nights with a giantess, in exchange
for three sips  of the Mead of Poetry.
He cheats, and escapes with all of the mead.  

Commotion and Lucky follow Snorri’s story,
more or less.

The third poem re-imagines the three nights
with the giantess.
*
 

Lucky

He took  
long sips.  
He was cheating
the giantess.  
The first poetry  
pours
into him.
He escapes
in the form  
of an eagle.
Her father  
follows him,
also  
in the shape
of an eagle.
The god, alarmed
jettisons
some of the poetry,
scatters
it out,
backwards.  
Great poets  
are nourished  
by what he brought
to Asgard.  
The rest of us  
find chunks
of bird shit,
count ourselves  
lucky.
Nancy Jasper © 2016

 
 
Snorri Sturluson by Haukur Stefánsson
By kind permission of Snorrastofa director,
Bergur Þorgeirsson
*
 

Snorri Learns The World Is Wide

Snorri’s journey toward wisdom
began
when a woman offered to cut away
his father’s eye,
a gesture
towards an old story.
His father kept the eye,
traded the threat
for a transaction.
his youngest son,
brokered
into a world of influence and learning.
Snorri was three years old.
He left his father’s home.
He would learn to love libraries,
and to scheme east,
across the water.
He would learn the world is wide
and its coasts,
deeply indented.
*
Nancy Jasper © 2015

The Heart of Fado

 
 
Cover: Portuguese Guitar
(Coimbra guitarra)
 

The Birth of Fado

They tell us
fado was born
in the heart of a sailor.
He remembers
the generosity of earth.
Leaves, flowers, fruit.
A woman.
Amalia
loves this sailor.
She loves him
because he gives himself
to fado.
He lets it
come through him
entirely.
All he has is memory
and a voice.
He had not known
his voice was beautiful.
Nancy Jasper © 2015

 
For RANDOM ACTS OF POETRY:
 
 

Cover art from the Web

Egil Swims Away From Europe

Those were the days
in which Harold Fairhair
locked up Norway,
consolidated his hegemony,
combed down cowlicks.
Egil was unmanageable,
he was always starting up.
He could escape from anything.
He was a regular Houdini.
Once, his enemies tied him up,
left him to stew all night
over what they would do to him in the morning.
His large head schemed.
He threw the knots
into other-dimensioned space
until they loosened.
He escaped,
burned down the house.
Egil got tired of Europe.
He was an independent man.
He preferred the integrity of revenge
to law or social usage.
He dived into the water,
swam
until he heard the basaltic muttering,
the techtonic plates
where Europe bumps up against North America.
Nancy Jasper © 2014

Snout

 
 
Cover Photo: www.wired.co.uk
 

Tudo Isto é Fado

The fado singers have a dog.
They tell us everything is fado,
nothing
is beyond the reach of fado.
So the dog must be fado,
too.
The singing of fado is stylized and passionate.
Gestures with dark shawls,
generational tides of longing.
The dog waits outside the tent.
He is good.
Then he is not good.
He runs onto the stage.
His heart cannot be contained.
Nancy Jasper © 2014
 
Dedicated to Ana & Jose Vinagre & their dog, Binnie

Reasonable Accomodations

 
 
 
Cover Art from the Web:
sfgate.com

Transit Street

In 1769
citizen astronomers
built a platform
near streets now called Transit and Planet.
They assembled their instruments
to time
the Transit of Venus
as she passed between Fox Point and the sun.
Today, a brass band
winds through this neighborhood.
The Holy Rosary
Pentecost procession.
The men’s red ties
are memories of flames.
Banners, trumpets, drums
the old desire
for a local connection to immensity.

Nancy Jasper © 2013

Clickable links ....