Today's poem is "Evensong"
from Crossing the Water

Nodin Press

Norita Dittberner-Jax was born and raised in the Frogtown neighborhood of Saint Paul, the sixth of seven children. She was educated in parochial schools and graduated from the (then) College of Saint Catherine. After her first marriage and the birth of three children, she began to write poetry, just as the Twin Cities area was becoming a center for creative writing with the emergence of the Loft. She taught English in the public schools of Saint Paul, and creative writing for the Writers-in the Schools Program and at the Perpich Center for the Arts. Her second marriage to Eugene Jax brought international travel and a great interest in art. In retirement from teaching, she returned to academic life, earning an MFA in poetry from Hamline University. Norita is one of the poetry editors for Red Bird Chapbooks. Crossing The Waters is her fifth collection of poems.

Books by Norita Dittberner-Jax:

Other poems on the web by Norita Dittberner-Jax:
"Monet, Van Gogh, at Home"
Two poems
Two poems
Two poems

About Crossing the Water:

"In Crossing the Water, Nori ta Dittberner-Jax has written yet another stellar, moving collection of poems. The book begins with a Lou Gerhig's Disease diagnosis given (oh, painful word) to her husband, and with that comes 'a shock so deep/the dreaming shut down ... ' The choice to open the book in this way anchors us as readers. With each new poem we go more deeply into what this diagnosis takes from them as a couple, and gives to them, as they count each day as valuable, as necessary, as another kind of gift. It's a beautiful book, honorable and compelling in the face of a great approaching loss."
—Deborah Keenan

"With grace, with courage, always with painterly clarity, sparing neither herself nor the reader, the poet brings us into a world where suffering and praise are intimately in dialogue, where heart-rending issues are given convincing expression. The epigraph from Horace, 'What restraint of limit should there be to grief for one so dear?' illuminates these pages. She writes; 'Give us patience to endure; enough forgetfulness to love / only the day we have, the night / to feel the other turn in sleep.' These poems, fully alive, plainly eloquent—honor the human complexities they have the wisdom to confront."
—Michael Dennis Browne

"Scott Fitzgerald said he wrote his Crack-Up essays in order to put a lament in the record. Norita Dittberner-J aJc's stunning, fiercely tender collection is another such lament. The watching and waiting through the dread of her beloved's harrowing illness, the assault (and comfort) of memory as it piles its proofs of long love into the heart, even as the knowledge of a future without that love presses nearer—these poems cycle through all this, clear-eyed and still capable of wonder. It's a book of heartening affirmation, a testament of the power of attention to the glory of each day, as loss comes closer to its destination, the elegy at the heart of life."
—Patricia Hampl

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