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 Marie Casey's "Sprung Rhythm" was the 14th National Poet Hunt winner, judged by Thomas Lynch. Her poem, "The Loneliness of the Heart Is Forever," won The Frank O'Hara Prize of The Worcester County Poetry Association.

Contemporary poetry. Poetry of Witness.
This work is highly recommended not only to literature lovers but also to politicians, ethicists, historians, and students of international relations. It is protest poetry at its best.
Helen has two poems in The Paterson Review, "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