Photo by Phelps Tibor Laszlo
In her second book, a collection of essays with poems, Polly Brody has given us a splendid ensemble of autobiography, natural history, and personal tribute. Early readers of The Burning Bush have been universal in their acclaim. Poet and autobiographer Mark Doty (winner of the National Book Critic’s Circle Award) refers to the book’s “deep affection for the natural world.” He adds that Brody’s “rewardingly close attention to many branches of the ‘Bush of Forms’ makes for an engaging record of participation, love and memory.”

Others have written as follows: “Thinking cosmically and experiencing with uncommon immediacy, Polly Brody writes in a lush, finely tuned lyrical voice thrumming with the music of spheres we know and those beyond. In her ecstatic, scientific mysticism, the natural world finds a crucial advocate, and we a writer of eye-opening, soul-amplifying power. —Susan Deborah King

Polly Brody has supplied us with a valid passport to our own lives, past and present. In The Burning Bush she extends an eloquent invitation to recall the honesty of childhood and to celebrate the way it reveals itself in our adult experience. —William T. S. Butler

We easily understand the enthusiasm of such reactions to these essays and poems when we encounter passages like the following :

“Instantly, out of the sky’s vault, the hummingbird plummeted to hover, gem-like, just beyond my fingertips. Breeze from its whirring wings tingled my fingers. How can it be said? I felt a crystalline yes! Yes to this wild bird, energetic as an emerald cloud of electrons and I by it transformed, the atom’s positive center. Yes to impulse, to the gesture without thought, to the instantaneous response.”

Polly Brody received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mount Holyoke College, and after returning to school in mid-life, earned a Masters Degree in Biology from Southern Connecticut State University. A resident of Southbury, Connecticut, she has traveled widely in Europe, East Africa, Australia and South America. As a biologist and experienced field ornithologist, she lectures on animal behavior and has created seminars on that subject. She has been an active advocate for the environment, and while chairing the Newtown Conservation Commission, she helped preserve 790 acres of prime woodland. Polly Brody is the author of an earlier poetry collection entitled Other Nations, has been published in many literary journals, and in 1998 was a finalist in the New Millennium Writings competition. A frequent reader at venues throughout Connecticut, in 1994 she was selected to read at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art and has been a presenting poet in the New England Foundation for the Humanities series, After Frost: Poetry in New England.

The Antrim House seminar room offers notes, ideas for discussion & writing, images, and/or additional poems. Click here to read the seminar offering for Perspective.

Click here to read a sample poem.


ISBN: 0-9762091-5-2
Length: 88 pages
Binding: 5/5" x 8/5" trade paperback





I walk downslope to your darkness
pooled there in the valley’s cup,
slip off my chrysalis of clothing
and step into you.
Your cool liquid caresses my ankles,
my calves, behind my knees,
slides over my hips and belly.
I lean forward and lay myself
upon you, glide into you.
Your black silk sweeps along my ribcage,
along my reaching arms, curves in gentle
bow-waves against my breasts.
I swim in cool, black silk.
Moon, rising full, draws her train
upon your onyx surface.
I turn into her wake,
stroke through quicksilver,
light rippling at my throat.
From my palms whirl discs of light.
I roll onto my back,
spread outstretched on you,
eyes closed, fingers lax,
head, back, buttocks, legs
buoyed on your cool depth,
laved in moonlight
and your blackness.

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