Inconsiderate Madness

In this new work, Sudbury’s Helen Marie Casey tackles an enigmatic Massachusetts historical figure, Mary Dyer, through twenty powerful poems.

Dyer was a wife, mother, Quaker, and martyr. Hanged by Puritans as a heretic, she could have avoided death without recanting her beliefs. So interesting questions arise: What is the nature of the true believer? What happens when state and religion, public policy and deeply-held belief, conflict? When women abandon their prescribed roles? Implications for the 21st Century abound.

Relevance aside, these prize-winning poems are good. They’re thought-provoking, but never obscure. Read aloud, they sound wonderful. They’re sensuous, with marvelous images: at the gallows, the noose is “about to gnaw/​her soft, white throat.” History becomes real through celebration of the familiar: “Seagulls. Sandpipers. Plovers. Salt froth. Fog swallows the waves/​everything but sound.”

Casey makes our shadowy 17th Century forebears both real and fascinating. These are poems for all of us, poetry-lovers and poetry-avoiders alike, and they strike at the heart.

--Anita Kurth, "The Book Shelf," North Shore Living

AWARDS: Helen's poem, "The Loneliness of the Heart Is Forever", has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Helen has two poems in this superb publication, "All Those Bodies" and "Aunt Helen".
These poems are part of a collection-in-progress about three generations of an Italian- Catholic family.
The author visits post-Civil War racial history in the school system in Portland, Oregon.
Casey’s poems are compelling. Throughout, Casey’s lyrical voice resonates.
--Vivian Shipley
Deft. Real, honest, terse, sinewy, searing, passionate poems of emotional and sensual immediacy
--Brian Doyle