Ursula on Her Birthday

One of my favorite stories from the Desert Fathers is about the disciple who prays and fasts and wonders what more he must do. The abba lifts his hands in prayer. Each finger becomes a flame. He asks, Why not be totally changed into fire?

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So Far So Good, Final Poems: 2014-2018 came out earlier this year from the good folks at Copper Canyon Press. The introductory note says that Ursula finished the revised manuscript on January 15, 2019. She would die seven days later. With this collection Ursula has turned into fire.

Each morning before the house wakes, I light candles and brew coffee and approach my notebook first with other people’s poems. I copy out by hand poems I love or want to learn or poems that have happened across my path.

This morning I started at the beginning of So Far So Good with the intention of getting all 66 down by hand.

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