Ripples on the Surface is the first collection of the poet's work, poems numbered 1 through 289, written 1969 - 2006. "Franki deMerle uses images so vivid that every sense is engaged. The poems have rhythms as moving as music and as subtle as water rippling along in a rocky stream. Each poem captures a moment of realization. These little songs seem very personal, but they speak the emotions of every human heart."-anonymous review "Ripples on the Surface, is, on first reading, a journey that leads the reader in a broad exploration of deep personal feelings, experiences, and life-concepts that connect us to her unique personhood by way of our shared awareness, dreams, longings, and losses. But it was in the second reading that I found myself drinking more deeply from the well of the larger thoughts and emotions that unite us all as human beings with all our hopes, doubts, imperfections, illusions, and unexplored depths. And that is what gave this reader the most to ponder about as the message of the book. The ability to give and receive love is the most prominent theme throughout the collection. Related topics of courage, loss, childhood, friendship, and the unspeakable mysteries of life and of the spirit do indeed ripple through Franki’s poetry in a sensitive eloquence, revealing her true and affirming use of language as a window into the heartfelt music of her soul."–Jennifer Pratt-Walter, poet, composer, harpist
"Reading this volume of poems by Franki deMerle is an active, generative experience that immerses me in the question of what a poem is. Ripples on the Surface is not surface material; it is the tide of meaning itself. The poems question creativity, longing, love, courage, sacredness, and other themes well known to poetic reflection. This questioning is invitational to reflection and the reader should be warned the possible conversations within Self that emerge could be dangerous. I did not have the sense so much of reading while immersed in these poems as I had my mind open to poetic experience. Be ready to feel, hold confusion, honor longing, greet isolation, uncover the hidden, and bare the soul.
"The strong theme concerns love and the courage to be. This ranges from an existential knowing that “I’ve chosen who I am” (poem 125) to the challenge to “Be what you want to be” (poem 155). deMerle effects honesty in exploring isolation and hiddenness that manages brilliantly to ripple through the surface to touch the imagination of the reader and emerge as anything but isolation or hiddenness.
Franki deMerle, the poet, has a natural knowing of dream symbols and human development. What she does so well that touches the place of poetry in the tradition of personal grounding for human experience is the naming of “Dream Shine” (see poem 131). The dream shine encourages the reader to be poetic if not in verse then no less in being-ness as a journey of the human that has always marked our Western Minds. These 289 poems extend beyond their count to a vast space of aliveness. I trust you will value them."-James Max Gossett, PhD
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Franki deMerle Updated August 22, 2022
Ripples on the Surface
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Miss
March 30, 2013