Notes on Transplant


         On revisiting these poems, I call them a journey of the heart.

“Where is home?” the first words on the back of this book. “Mostly in the mind and spirit.” comes the answer.   In retrospect, I must have been more with mind and spirit when first writing these poems.  Some time later, these poems seem more with the heart, and I add this up to a sum that explains that home belongs to us in every interior part, yet even an old wound to the body speaks to us when we touch it.  Whichever part comes to the fore can often be found in poems.  Here is the rest of the quote from the back of the book:

         If we visit a place where once we lived, it is the memories

         crowding in that take us back, not the plaster and brick. 

         Moving is in our DNA, even if we have lived in the same

place for years.  The wood and glass changes because we

change.  In the Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard says

that all inhabited space bears a notion of home, and that an

entire past comes to dwell in a new abode.  Transplant

explores these themes of change and loss, and aging and

more.  It seeks to carry out what Bachelard calls the

function of poetry:  “to give us back the situations of our


“Nothing escapes Shirley Rickett’s visionary attention. With accessible scenes interpreted with wisdom and grace, the poet invites us to stand beside her, learn what she wisely experiences. Her stories mark a path of discovery, both of the natural world and of the ways of human nature.”
Jan Seale
2012 Texas Poet Laureate, author of The Parkinson Poems and Nature Nurture Neither
“Shirley Rickett’s new book thrums with an undertone of the autumn of life where all of us wonder ‘how many changes can one being bear.’ She captures how we feel as we grow older with ‘two cacti/turned the color of an old penny/have gone limp’ or ‘even the one-note birds cannnot reach the ears of angels …’ At this point in life, Rickett has become at Easter a ‘former tinter of eggs’ and finds it a comfort ‘to pray to a saint’s feet’ instead. Home is now Texas and a New Year takes on a new meaning for all of those on the other side of half way there. Rickett gets it right over and over, and readers will identify with what she has to say.”
Maryfrances Wagner
Editor of I-70 Review