A question often asked of poets is “what kind of poetry do you write?” While Margaret B. Ingraham’s poetry is decidedly lyrical and image-rich, it is difficult to assign her poetry to a single, conventional type. Peggy characterizes her own work not by style, such as “lyric,” as much as by content and intent. Considered this way, the majority of her poetry falls into five categories: Heritage, Terrain, Faith, Prose Poems, and Short Poems. Click on the category title to read a group of poems, or click on an individual title to read a single poem.
In his Meditation XVII the great English metaphysical poet priest John Donne wrote:
“No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;”
These Heritage poems examine that continent of family and that “part of the main” that transcends time and reaches across the generations, influencing who we are.
Phyllis Tickle once said to me, “You have always been a terrain poet.” Terrain poet is not a term one will find in any literary lexicon, and it is not one I can define, except through my work. Grounded in a sense of place, my poetry celebrates and examines the intricate connections between the natural terrain where we stand and the more mysterious terrains of mind, soul, heart and spirit.
These poems do not attempt to define faith; rather, they provide a glimpse into the way that faith has defined me, as they both recognize and rejoice in the beauty of the visible world and seek to explore the realities of the unseen.
I have experimented with the prose poem primarily as soliloquy or epistolary poetry, typically using the genre to create a spoken or written monologue that preserves or reestablishes the relationship between the speaker/writer and an absent listener/reader.
In these short poems I seek to present clear, vivid and precise images and to pair them with the ideas or concepts that they conjured in me as I encountered them. The challenge I give myself in short work is to illustrate these connections through the most economical use of language possible.