Red Admiral by Cindy Huyser

Photo by Łukasz Rawa on Unsplash

Please help me welcome poet, Cindy Huyser, to fws.

I have been privileged to hear Ms. Huyser read her poem, “Red Admiral,” several times. Each time I hear its intriguing language, feel its cadenced rhythms written in its mysteriously inviting form, the grief and wonder it carries, I am enamored anew. Here, I offer both the poet reading her own work and the poem in it’s “concrete” form, for the poem is even more powerful and meaningful as one considers it visually.

Here is what the poet herself says about the form she employs and about the endearing reference she makes within the text:

“Red Admiral” is both a concrete poem (roughly in the shape of a butterfly) and a contrapuntal poem, meant to be read in three parts: the left column, the right column, and the text reading across the two columns. The poem’s form was initially inspired by some of the poems in Section Five of Lauren Haldeman’s collection Instead of Dying (The Center for Literary Publishing, Colorado State University, 2017), where pairs of poems using similar language face each other across the pages. This poem retains the strategy of related language in the left and right columns.

At the end of the poem, the speaker utters Hello, Debster, a reference to my late wife, poet, biographer and publisher Debra L. Winegarten.

Cindy Huyser

& here, is the poet reading her work. Be sure to open the PDF of the poem’s text below the recording so you can read along:

My prayer is that this work will touch your spirit the way it has mine and bring you hope, perhaps even increase in your faith, faith in “The verge…scent of rain and earthworms,” in the power of the natural world to heal. Perhaps it will turn your heart to “birdsong.”

Cindy Huyser’s poems have received Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominations, and appear in many journals and anthologies. Her chapbook, Burning Number Five: Power Plant Poems, was co-winner of the 2014 Blue Horse Press Poetry Chapbook Contest, and her first full-length collection, Cartography, is forthcoming from 3: A Taos Press. She has edited or co-edited a number of anthologies, including Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems (Dos Gatos Press, 2016) and several editions of the Texas Poetry Calendar. Cindy lives in Austin, Texas, where she hosts the monthly BookWoman 2nd Thursday Poetry Reading and Open Mic series. Please visit more of Cindy’s work here.

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