Praise for Three Ages of Women
In the exquisite Three Ages of Women, Martin Willitts Jr. enters with equal facility the painter, the subject, and the painting itself. I am most moved by the testimony of the subject, as in the first stanza of “Helga Testorf ”: I worked in a tannery/until my skin became leather,/all cracked and hard,/for although life is hard,/some things like marriage/are harder./ If I were teaching art appreciation, I would require Three Ages of Women.
—Donna Hilbert, Traveler in Paradise: New and Selected Poems, PEARL Editions
Three Ages of Women is a luminous collection that alchemizes a delicate blend of poetry as a response to visual art. In this collection of Ekphrastic poetry, the poet Martin Willitts Jr. fulfills the necessary and integral journey of words blending to art, and back again. Each section takes the reader through the stages and ages of a women’s lives. The work in these pages, takes us through cotton fields and desserts, braids and farm roads, broken eggs and the “discomfort inside a darkened room.” Each poem is its own meditation about our spoken, and unspoken lives. As Willitts says “a room is empty until sunlight filters through” and one will be drawn to these rooms, amidst these pages, often. This is a collection that will find a place in your marrow. This is a collection that will delve “deeper than a whale can dive”.
—Connie Post, Poet Laureate Emerita of Livermore, CA 2005 to 2009 Author of Floodwater, winner of the 2014 Lyrebird Award