Books By Diane Frank

Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines

Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines

Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines is Diane Frank's latest collection of poems. (order info.)

Praise for Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines

"In this new and startling collection, Diane Frank’s poems transcend not just genres but entire dimensions. When she speaks to J.S. Bach, she really means it and when Bach speaks back, she listens — entirely — the way certain moths perceive sound via their whole body, even their wings. How is this accomplished? It will seem to come through the poems themselves — their music, tonal qualities and subjects, yet it goes even deeper as it pushes up like duende through the soles of your feet. The voice is declarative, emphatic, spirit driven. She will tell you, ' When a buffalo enters your dream, / listen for arpeggio hooves, / the weight of music, / a copper moon / above a vanishing prairie ' and you will, you must listen."

— Lois P. Jones, author of Night Ladder
Radio Host, KPFK’s Poets Café

"Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines is a feast for the senses, the images conjuring sights, sounds and tastes that metamorphosize into larger concepts. However, when Diane Frank introduces music into her poetry, it takes on a depth, both joyful and painful, that is, in my opinion, her finest work. Bravo!"

— Jill Rachuy Brindel
Cellist, San Francisco Symphony

"In Diane Frank’s Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines, this reader finds himself embraced by trees. While hiking in Muir Woods, the poet sees, 'Lichens and gnomes / in the bark of giant redwoods, / ribbons of brown and pink, / striations remembered from earlier times.' Diane Frank’s observations link us with the essence of life, with earth. We are penetrated by a music we can both hear and see. The sensuousness of life is accentuated in dances we feel from our most primal bodily memories."

— Rustin Larson, author of Pavement,
Winner of the 2016 Blue Light Poetry Prize

"How deep is the music of the spheres locked up inside our earthly, material existence? So deep, says Diane Frank, that it could take a lifetime ‘to learn the cello’s toning to what I hear.’ So close to the surface that it’s present in the sound of icefall or a mountain bird drunk with song.
        In Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines, she takes us on a journey to unlock that music for her readers — to make the ‘impossible note’ manifest. In these resonant poems, she takes us to the deep hidden places, and to the transparently spellbinding surfaces — in search of that ‘music or soundscape, rising like a flood.’ The journey is sacred and profane — from the arpeggio of buffalo hooves to the cacophony of an alarm in a high school classroom during a bomb scare. And through her poetry, the line between sacred and profane is erased, and what emerges is the music within. What does she discover in a field of ice wrapped trees? An ocean of violins. In redwoods, and the long fingers of ferns? Water music. What does she discover in a purple balloon held in a small child’s hand? Hearts filled with musical joy.
        Open this book. Listen for the impossible note, for the musical stuff that binds everything. Before very long, you're likely to discover, as Diane Frank has, that it’s everywhere— as resonant as the way a string vibrates at the intersection of bow and memory."

— George Wallace
Writer in Residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace

"Diane Frank is a magician, flying on a cello, wearing black slinky pants. She walks like a geisha, with a paper umbrella, unless of course she is riding a tortoise. Buffalos dance out of Beethoven's arpeggios, with their hooves. Diane Frank invites you into her dream — Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines, where a thousand Swiss cows clang their bells for you in the moonlight. Don’t expect to read this collection of poems and remain unmoved. You cannot easily wash away the scent of bear, honey, topaz blue light."

— Midwife Robin Lim, Bali, Indonesia
Author of The Geometry of Splitting Souls

"Diane Frank’s new book, Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines, invites us to transcend and be transformed by an ecstatic engagement with the natural world — each poem a lush, primordial garden of flora and fauna, overlaid with the omnipresent music of the spheres. There is mystery and surprise with every turn of the page here, lighting up our senses and perceptions with poems not just inspired by natural and symphonic music, but invoked and informed by it. From the poem "Pentagram: Garden Walk," we read: ‘Love is a whir of hummingbirds, / an open window, / a garden of passion flowers and wild orchids, / indigo butterflies mating in a kaleidoscope of wings, / a memory, a dream you suddenly remember.’ Like Diane Frank’s previous books, this one does not disappoint, enchanting us with its sensual imagery and rhythms. As Kim Addonizio writes, "Poetry is not a means to an end, but a continuing engagement with being alive." After finishing Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines, you will no doubt feel more alive than when you picked it up."

— Christopher Seid, Author of Age of Exploration

"To be inside these poems is to feel the warmth of the sun after a violent storm, illuminating the way for a mermaid to swim through an O’Keeffe cow skull, with a guide book of wildflowers and a shaman's drum, singing the heartbeat rhythms of incarnation and ancestry, listening to life as music, the goose-flesh eroticism of nature’s ceaseless rhythms, an interpenetrating dream with the shivering overtones of truth, like stars, the tides, the hunger of the ants that allows the peonies to blossom. Dickinson said, ‘If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.’ This is what happens when one encounters the Rumi-meets-Alice in Wonderland duende of Diane Frank."

— David Hurlin, Author of Zero Gravity Funk Libido