Friday, August 3, 2007

Half-Light by Peggy Billings

"Coming upon the collected work of a poet new to us, we should resist the tendency to read the poems in quick succession. Half-Light contains any number of poems that deserve to be lingered over: They need, as good literature always does, to be created all over again in the reader's imagination."
from the introduction by James McConkey

Poet Peggy Billings was born in McComb, Mississippi, in 1928. From 1952-63, she served as a missionary in war-torn South Korea. After her return to the United States in 1963, she went to work for the United Methodist Church, devoting her life to racial justice, civil rights, community action, peace, international affairs, and women's issues. She has remained involved with Korea during its democracy and human rights struggles. She is currently retired and living near Trumansburg, NY.

From Half-Light

End of the Day

When the sun
goes down
behind the Palisades,

shade climbs up
the sides of the buildings
to rest on rooftops.

On Broadway,
the barber's pole
whirrs the evening prayer.

People hurrying home
from the subway
cover their heads with half-light,

of wild lilac and shadow.

Like a child
reluctant to come inside,
the light lingers on our stoop.

66 pages
ISBN 0-9702498-7-X