MONTICELLO, AR — Dr. Robert Moore, professor of English at the University of Arkansas at Monticello who writes under the pen name "Red Hawk," has a new book entitled Return To the Mother: A Lover’s Handbook.
The book is a collection of 94 poems inspired by the ancient Chinese spiritual Master Lao Tsu, from his book Tao Te Ching, considered a classic in spiritual literature. Each of Red Hawk’s poems is 16 lines and the title of each poem is a line from one of Lao Tsu’s sutras, which are rules or aphorisms in Sanskrit literature. Moore describes each poem as a "response and a commentary on Lao Tsu’s Sutra, a call-and-response over the centuries between two spiritual seekers after truth.
"This book represents something unique in American poetry," Moore explained. "It re-enlivens Lao Tsu’s wisdom-teaching for the 21st century and provides new avenues of understanding into his teaching. It also owes much of its inspiration to the teachings of Zen Buddhism and the Russian spiritual Master George Gurdjieff."
Return To the Mother is the third volume in a trilogy of Red Hawk's writing that includes Self Remembering: The Path to Non-Judgmental Love, and Self Observation: The Awakening of Conscience. Self Observation has been published in 11 languages including Chinese, Romanian, French, Spanish, Turkish, Dutch, and Slovenian. According to Moore, Return To the Mother "represents a distillation of the teaching in these two companion volumes and presents this teaching in an accessible poetic form."
The late William Packard, founder and editor of The New York Quarterly, called Red Hawk’s poetry " desperately important to us all today because Red Hawk has that rarest of all virtues (Virgil had it, Dante had it, Shakespeare had it)—a sense of civilization behind each of these miraculously crafted poems.” Pulitzer Prize poet Gary Snyder said "these are poems of deep etiquette, music, pain, and muted ecstasy. Red Hawk’s is a powerful and wise voice.”
Red Hawk’s book may be ordered for $18 + $2.65 postage from Hohm Press (www.hohmpress.com) or from Amazon. For a signed copy, email Red Hawk directly at firstname.lastname@example.org Provide a home address and a check and he will send a signed copy. It may also be purchased from the UAM bookstore.
Following is one of the poems from Return To the Mother.
“[The wise] enjoy the labor of their hands, and don’t
waste time inventing labor-saving machines.” (80) (Lao Tsu)
In the boneyard, a man with a backhoe digs a grave that once
he dug by hand in 4 or 5 hours; now he is done in 20 minutes
and he is not tired, his hands aren’t calloused, he no longer works
with his body, he doesn’t get dirty.
When a man works with a machine, beyond what his body
alone can do, he becomes dangerous. Now he is able
to bring mountains down, change the course of rivers,
level whole forests and fish the oceans to exhaustion.
A man working with his body alone knows his limits
and his place, but give him a machine and now he needs
Conscience and humility or he will do more harm
than good; he will behave recklessly,
smitten by a false sense of power
because he can fell a mighty Oak in less than an hour.
Either he respects all things for their dignity and grace,
or beauty disappears from the world without a trace.
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