Tilt / Hover / Veer

By Mary Newell

Subjects: Poetry
Imprint: Distribution Partners
Paperback : 9781949933017, 36 pages, January 2019

Table of contents


In the pith of diapause

In the pith of tilt

Intersection: witness

In the pith of evanescence

In the pith of afterglow

The wake of an ending

In the pith of swerve


In the pith of break down

In the pith of hover

In the pith of attenuation

In the pith of glide

In the pith of luscious

In the pith of watershed

In the pith of a sad meander

Into the pith: peregrination


In the pith of origin

In the pith of remonstrance

In the pith of veer

In the pith of ricochet

In the pith of afterdays

In the pith of hallow


In the pith of solitude

In the pith of saturation

In the pith of silence

Poems depicting the planetary tilt that shuffles the seasons, the dynamic poise of a bird hovering, the tendency to veer as we aim for the polestar but wake up awry.


From a chrysalis morphing into a butterfly, to a person traversing a life cycle, to the planet tilting toward the sun, the poetry chapbook Tilt / Hover / Veer offers impressions of interlinked cycles on different scales. The text pivots around the modular refrain "in the pith of" and invokes pith's dual meanings of "nurturing plant tissue" and "crux. " Mary Newell depicts a challenging world of "quicksand promises, polestar simulacrums/ strangulating options, the pull of the void" in which, nevertheless, "beneficence ripples through the silence,/ imperceptibly, like stardust wafting by. " We are invited to attune to the vital pulsations underlying events as we "sight to: home … horizon … the spaciousness beyond. " Its modular style affiliates Tilt / Hover / Veer with the Hinge Theory inaugurated by Heller Levinson, in which language elements are probed for expanded meanings as they participate in a fluctuating field of interrelationships.

Mary Newell lives in the lower Hudson Valley. Her publications include poems, essays—"Shades of Melancholy" appears in Melancholia: Hinge as Innominate Limina by Will Alexander, Heller Levinson, and Mary Newell—and entries on Dickinson and Whitman in the Encyclopedia of the Environment in American Literature. Dr. Newell (MA Columbia, BA Berkeley) received a doctorate from Fordham University in American Literature and the Environment. She has taught literature and writing at the college level.


"It is most apt that the poems in Tilt / Hover / Veer utilize the modular refrain of in the pith of, dovetailing nicely with pith's dual meanings: spongy plant tissue and the crux of/ essence. Newell's pithy fragments capture the essence of fleeting moments in time, whole worlds of weather, and portals into the wider universe. With a calm convergence of science, nature, and delicate imagery, Mary Newell's poems speak to us in a distilled yet expansive diction that pulses and chimes with empyrean elegance and a rhythmic beauty. This chapbook glows with fire and light. " — Cindy Hochman, editor-in-chief of First Literary Review–East

"Breathe in … tilt hover veer … breathe out … tilt hover veer. At any time in life, let alone these endangered times, tilt hover veer becomes a mantra, a pith, an essential part of our quiet. So 'listen forward,' the poet encourages early in these pages, as the world's great motor churns. For 'We enter this world floundering'…" — Mike Jurkovic, poet, pundit, provocateur; President, Calling All Poets Series, New Paltz & Beacon, NY

"Rich in surprising, often musical language, Mary Newell's poems bring us into the essence of experiences often overlooked. Tracing small details in the natural world, Newell asks us, again and again, to pay attention to what matters. " — Ruth Danon, author of, most recently, Word has it