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Centering In Pottery, Poetry, and the Person

25th Anniversary Edition
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Wesleyan
 | 
May, 1989
ISBN:
9780819562005
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Banyen's Description: 

“This book, in its form and its content, seems almost without precedent. Its style flows directly from an intensity, an honesty, and a frankness which are rare. It is a poem, a sutra, a tract, a confession, a revelation, a guide to art and life.... In my opinion this is not merely a good book, it is a great book.” —Daniel Rhodes, Craft Horizons

This 25th Anniversary Edition, with a new introduction and a foreword by Matthew Fox, is a lovely republication of a classic book first published in 1964. Widely influential in the Sixties and since,

Centering is a verb. It is an ongoing process, and here it is, twenty-five years after its first publication, reaffirmed as a book. Twenty-five years, and it has never gone out of print, which indicates the seminal quality of its imagery.

I have said that Centering as an archetype comes through the potter’s wheel and the spinning clay taking shape. But archetypes are Beings of special subtlety and paradox. So Centering is not a model, but a way of balancing, a spiritual resource in times of conflict, an imagination. It seems in certain lights to be an alchemical vessel, a retort, which bears an integration of purposes, an integration of levels of consciousness. I can be called to, like a divine ear....

One last testimony to the metabolism of Centering. It is new! It brings us what we don’t already know. We have not seen it face to face, but we have had sightings. They have come through language with an alteration in the traditional roles of poetry and prose. I do not think now about which one I am writing in, except when my soul begins to feel as if there is too much light, too much clarity, too much illusion of meaning, or earnestness, too much spirit—and then I dive for cover, for dark, for wet, and come up moistened and renewed, and speaking (or singing) a different tone....

For human beings are wild and nameless, as well as proper and pedigreed. We drink from the streaming breasts of the god beyond knowing and naming and cannot bear the rituals and liturgies that separate us from them.

—from her new 1988 introduction

“I consider this book one of the great works of American philosophy: it is so cosmological, so feminist (without once using that term), so original, so full of wisdom, so post-Cartesian, so non-dualistic, so moral, and so fully a part of the mystical tradition of the West that one wonders from what source it arrived in our world. Was it a virgin birth? Whatever its source, I am certain this book will endure. For it is truthful from an ancient, pre-patriarchal, source of truth. It is truthful from the source of our bodies, our bodying forth, our clay-being and our movement being. As long as we are clay and as long as we can move and make move we shall learn from this book.” —Matthew Fox

Publisher’s Description: 

A flowing collection of poetry that is also a guide for life.

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