The Light That Shines Inside Us by Marguerite Guzman Bouvard

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Marguerite Guzman Bouvard
Dialogos Books
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The Light That Shines Inside Us

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Book review

Marguerite Guzman Bouvard is a citizen of the world and a deeply committed humanist; the poems in her new volume are a beautiful hymn to the heartbreaking paradox of the delicate fragility of individuals forced to bear the brunt of the brutality of war as well as the burden of personal mortality—yet, through it all, the voice of the poet bears witness to those moments that give life its sweetness —. The Light that Shines Inside Us is a triptych that ushers the reader from section I, “We are One,” in which we are invited to see all humanity from Somalia, to Iraq, to Trieste, to the US as one world and one people struggling to survive; to section II, the “Human Landscape,” which offers us a more intimate glimpse of the poet’s own life and experience; to section III, “Reverence,” an attempt to find a transcendent rapprochement with the contradictions of life through the art of the poem. In this book, we discover a poet who has traveled far and feels deeply; her poems bear witness and are a testament to those evanescent encounters with the world that make us human by giving us images that are sometimes stark, many times poignant, but always haunting, leaving us with a vision of life actually lived from a poet who has plunged deeply into that life. Bouvard instructs us to “Pay attention… / there is no safety/ behind a wall / open the windows / of your eyes heart mind / listen to the trees / singing the earth’s homily.” ------- Gary Walton ------- Marguerite Guzmán Bouvard is a citizen of the earth. Across cultures and languages, wars and illnesses, brief intense joys and relentless suffering, her poems radiate compassion and a universal humanity. The Light That Shines Inside Us, in its plainspoken spiritual strength, is a radical affirmation of timeless values.------- —Stephen Kessler, author of Scratch Pegasus. ----------------- With this profound collection, The Light That Shines Inside Us, Marguerite Guzman Bouvard offers us a rare exposition of the mind, heart, and soul. Bouvard’s poems are tender and spiritual, personal and prophetic; they are packed with powerful narratives and lyric meditations that are the light and the dark of the World’s Empire. Her heart and moral intelligence express to us how the earth unfolds. Her words will break your heart, and heal your soul. As she speaks to us in “Monet’s Homage,” There are no beginnings, no endings/no boundaries in the abundance/of meadows, wisterias rising/below a bridge in blazing stalagmites./Rock formations throb/in the writhing seas. The earth/is sacred. Its powerful visions /call to us in a dark world. I loved this journey, and I am sure you will too.----- —Preston H. Hood, author of The Hallelujah of Listening, 2012 Maine Literary Award Winner for Poetry

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