ISBN 978-0-87013-979-6

Love is the quietest of all things.

I suspected this when I first started reading Beso The Donkey Poems by Richard Jarrette back in May. When I finished reading the poems this week, I knew this truth.

Beso The Donkey found its way into my life because I admitted to SS that I liked poetry, but I just didn’t get it. It sounded bad. An MFA graduate still eluded by verse, but SS didn’t judge. She directed me to the book because it was “sweet as can be, even for those of us who are downright afraid of poetry.”

The question, “Why bother with relationships you know will end?” was on my mind when I started reading the book. Fifteen poems in, I had to set Beso aside to write a short story, just to answer the question.

Then I forgot all about Beso until this weekend when I ran into KS and we spoke of passion, chainsaws, and poetry.

KS: What people just don’t get is that poetry is all around us from the start. People think that their first exposure is when they get to seventh or eighth grade and some teacher pushes a poem on them, but I mean, just think of music, of all those lyrics we’ve been hearing . . .

I took up Beso again. This time I headed down to the Minnesota River Valley where I sat on a log and read the book front to back with the changing autumn leaves. Jarrette showed me a donkey that could gaze with the tragic dignity of Abraham Lincoln, a stream of gold that poured from his backlit silhouette, and the lingering record of Beso’s tracks in the mud as a lost civilization. All I had to do was look down in the dry riverbed, and I could imagine Beso plodding along beside me.

Jarrette wrote, “oaks feel a tiny shiver when a moth sighs.”

And in this sentence I knew, really knew, just how love is the quietest of all things.




Filed under Art, Books, Life, Literature, Love, Music, Poetry, Random, Writing

10 responses to “ISBN 978-0-87013-979-6

  1. I will pass this along to Richard Jarrette. He will love it!

    • Thank you! Please tell him that I also loved how he honors other writers in the collection, and now I can confidently say that I love poetry and I understand it. 😉

      • Hellogirwhoreadsbooks…I am enchanted by your response to Beso. He remains an amazement to me, your quote of the moth’s sigh as if never heard before, and it captured me again. “Thus we are grasped by what we can’t grasp…” (Rilke). I am so happy that you have come to poetry. Beso is a direct inspiration flowing from Zbigniew Herbert’s “Mr. Cogito,” Jaime Sabines’ “Tarumba,” and all of Mr. William Merwin’s work. Of course, Beso himself was the most important inspiration. You made me smile today. Cheers! –Richard

  2. p.s. And please read Charlie’s sparkly and heart-crunching Beso-inspired story in – (fall edition launching this weekend.)

  3. This is so sweet. I remain amazed by Beso. I am delighted to help you along toward poetry, girlwhoreadsbooks. Beso helped me along to life.
    Cheers. Richard

    • Richard! I am so glad you found this post. So many times I write about how authors have inspired me, but I know they’ll never get to see it. . one thing your collection made clear in my mind was the ability of an author to show the reader how they view an object/person/relationship in a way that the reader can understand and identify with. And yes, there was a whole lot of magic captured within the moth line. You just sorta set a few things right for me in my mind, in terms of writing, and I’d like to thank you for that.

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