In Deep

Author Photo: Rachel M. Lilly  

The delicate haiku in Rebecca Lilly’s A Prism of Wings are vivid in detail, fascinating in philosophy, accurate in science, and gorgeous in coloration. The same can be said for the full-color illustrations that illuminate the book. If you weren’t one before, you will be an aficionado of butterflies and moths when you put down the book. About it, Kathleen Ford writes this: “Rebecca Lilly’s haiku take flight like butterflies. The Swallowtails, Sleepy Oranges and Coral Hairstreaks delight while inspiring moments of transcendence. Lilly writes ‘few words matter in the end,’ but in this lovely volume which beautifully unites subject, form and theme, they matter a great deal.” Chica Tenney says, “The painter Robert Motherwell wrote of ‘slipping glimpses’ seen or sensed between sleep and waking. They arrive in these haiku on the wings of daydreams, with facets sending visions ever so fragile yet strong in emotional power. Rebecca Lilly’s poems slide into one’s awareness as singular experiences and as subtle layers of comprehension. They bring a richness that lingers, one hopes, forever.”

Front Cover Artwork: Sarah McQuilkin

And this from Robert Morgan: “One of the special delights of A Prism of Wings is the way Rebecca Lilly combines scientific knowledge of butterflies, moths and the natural world with precise observation, vivid language, and startling connections. Her haiku are flashes of perception, transforming verbal prisms that give us new angles of vision. She sees the large in the small, the timeless in a moment. These poems are instants of insight, windows of wonder. This is a particularly exciting collection.”

Rebecca Lilly holds degrees from Cornell University (an M.F.A. in creative writing) and Princeton University (a Ph.D. in philosophy). Her other publications include three collections of poems and two books on spiritual philosophy and practice. Her author’s website,, offers information on her books as well as excerpts. She works as an assistant to a landscape architect, a position that suits her well, since she has an abiding interest in the world of nature. Rebecca Lilly lives in Port Republic, Virginia.

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ISBN 978-1-936482-44-3

Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Lilly

5.5" x 8.5" paperback, 64 pages


Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io) by Sarah McQuilkin


Chestnut wings, neon-
mauve of Peacock Butterflies—
the silence singing


Shallow ford, sun
as it falls through the leaves’ gold-
red—no, Viceroys!


A Mourning Cloak—dead
voices from the forest lift—purple
light breaks the cold


Mild weather, Marbled Whites
in hedgerow flowers—how soul
was before the mind


Rootless thoughts, feelings,
floaters in the eye—Hawkmoths
dart from the fence line


Mind knows desire
for objects, not desire

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