Terry Ehret’s second book of poems examines ritual and art, two of the ways in which we try to articulate our existence. These poems give voice to the unspoken grief beneath our instinctive acts of mourning, and to our human attempts to find order in the world. The central section of the book is a series of thirteen poems based on Picasso’s portraits of women, which won the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize in 1995. A companion sequence, “The Fiction of Being,” was written while Ehret was the Writer on Site at the Oakland Museum of California, and takes as its source artworks in the museum’s Gallery of California Art.


"World in Need of Brading"

 “Terry Ehret constructs poems that are fearless even as they flee from simple descriptions so often found in ecphrastic poetry. No matter how dark her themes, she manages to circle back, without sentimentality, to reclaim new and widening patterns of light as dark hair, antlers, corollas of oaks, spring from her canvas. It is how she listens to her subjects and finds their form that ultimately stuns the reader. She grips the world so hard she holds it in place for a few moments – and makes it shine.”
                                                            —Francine Ringold,Nimrod International Journal


“In her new, much-anticipated collection, Terry Ehret writes, "In ordinary time we experience ourselves peripherally/attentiveness to the requirements/of living in the world." Her attention and perception in these poems are both alternately razor-sharp and open to interpretation and chance, as any honest gaze must be, in ‘days, time as untitled as this.’”
                                                            —Gillian Conoley, author of Lovers in the Used World


“Ehret’s poems warn us that work, art, war, grief, self-destruction, religion and silence cannot save us. She warns us that ‘strength can be terrible.’And yet her poems, in their difficult strength, know about ‘the unfinished blood.’ They bring us into the presence of ‘the things that must be remembered,’ and they know what is holy, what is wild and running.”
                                                —Peggy Shumaker, author of Wings Moist from the Other World



Review of
Translations from the Human Language

 by Ruth Daigon, author of Handfuls of Time


Terry Ehret's stunning poetry collection, Translations from the Human Language, makes us rethink our assumptions about the world. "Come lie down. Earth/heaves slowly over in the night/like a lover/to make room for you." When viewed as a whole, each poem contains a quietly transcendent integrity.  Moments of heightened awareness break through the surface tension of daily lives."Breathe in/and out. This is how/we begin and end./This is how/we float/in/and out of the world/even while we are in it. Breathe" The unique empathetic power of her writing in Among the Involuntary Missing (for Polly Klass) lies in her genius as a witness where she has created with graphic precision, a community for her grief. Ehret's, Picasso Portraits, so powerful and heart-wrenching, celebrate the sisterhood of the soul and the transforming power of love. The quiet grace and elegant melancholy of the poem Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time ends with the triumphant "Strength can be terrible. I live in ordinary time. Burning glare/of shame, failed hopes, also an ecstasy" "We may suddenly/slowly/burst through on fire—/ Extravagant!/  Look at me!" Terry Ehret writes her eloquent poems with an unjaded sweet dignity free of despair. This book is to be held, to be read and to be remembered.