The Beauty of Listening
THE BEAUTY OF LISTENING explores and honors the ever-challenging art and skill of listening. Inside these pages, you’ll meet paper dolls and monsters, writers at work and words at play, and you’ll find many open questions of perspective.
While each poem tells its own story, the collection also tells a larger listening story. From thoughts on where listening begins to the evolution of words and communication styles, the story leads into the deep need for listening time, both inner and interpersonal. Inner listening is explored from intuition to where inner and interpersonal listening entwine, making self-awareness essential for truly listening to others. The final section, Last Words, includes an uplifting poem for paper dolls, the thoroughly unhindered perspective of a ghost, and a vision of the last printed page.
THE BEAUTY OF LISTENING is a journey filled with moments of awareness, meaningful connections, humor, folly, and the gentle reminder that listening is not as simple as it seems.
Scroll down to find endorsements and several reader responses, which have been especially thoughtful and wonderfully creative!
“Linda Eve Diamond's poetry in The Beauty of Listening sweeps me off my feet — her funny (yet dead serious) musings on the fate of the word amazing, her ardent eavesdropping into the secret lives of paper dolls, her still, quiet verses that speak volumes. The book itself is as beautiful as the poems within.” - FRED DUBOSE, Editorial Director, Reader's Digest General Books (ret.)
“How I love The Beauty of Listening! It was a delight to delve into each section. I felt like I was giving myself an extra treat each time I sat down to read a few poems. I love Linda's humor, her delicious use of words and design. She truly listens with her heart and lets it come forth in words that inspire, amuse, cause one to wonder, sometimes puzzle, and always appreciate her skill.” - KAY LINDAHL, , CLP, Author of The Sacred Art of Listening
"No one will ever describe Linda Eve Diamond as a 'diamond in the rough.' Careful readers of her latest collection of poems will discover, Linda Eve is at her best. Like diamonds that are measured and valued by their cut, carats, color, and clarity Linda Eve Diamond’s latest book, The Beauty of Listening, is priceless. Her poetic cut provides brilliancy of thought and reflection to serve every reader. Like carats her every poem can be weighed and valued. The Beauty of Listening illustrates a profound range of color to enrich any and every reader. Last but not least, Linda Eve Diamond writes with flawless clarity. As a result, The Beauty of Listening is a treasure trove of 63 poems that will profit anyone wise enough to make the investment. For within and beyond the beauty of Linda Eve Diamond’s poems lies the opportunity to stretch your mind and wiggle your ears. Who could ask for more?" - LYMAN K. "MANNY" STEIL, Chairman & CEO, International Listening Leadership Institute & Communication Development, Inc.
“Listening is the glue that binds people together, builds, maintains and strengthens relationships. Linda’s The Beauty of Listening explains, in the graceful ways of poetry, many of the disparate facets of listening... from the changing meaning of words to the problem with interruption... from the self-focused ear to one’s inner listening for sounds of love. This compilation of extraordinary poems should be required reading for all who are human because it reminds us that we hear with our ears, but we listen with mind, heart and soul.” - ALAN R. EHRLICH, President, International Listening Association & Founder/President, The Center for Listening Disorders Research
“Linda Eve Diamond’s latest book of poetry, The Beauty of Listening, offers a beauty all its own … to those who will listen. Carefully. The collection is a call for a more human world, a place where people recognize that attention must be paid. In our high-tech, Twitterized society, we are slipping away from the intimate contact that is so essential to be fully human. The Beauty of Listening invites us to discover that hidden humanity.”
- ROBERT SPENCER KNOTTS, author and founder of The Humanity Project
“Listening and love are like twin sisters and this idea shines through the poems in this collection. It is amazing that–though times and styles have changed–this truth can be detected from so many different perspectives.” - DR. MARGARETE IMHOF, Professor of Educational Psychology & Past President of the International Listening Association
“Linda Eve Diamond has, if it is possible, bettered her first book of poetry The Human Experience and in doing so bettered the human experience through her understanding of listening. This is more than a collection of poems; these verses are an immediate touchstone to the intuition disclosing how we know we are listening; and, more urgently, uncovers when we are not. I intend to spend a good deal of reverie around these insights.” - JERRY CATT-OLIASON, adjunct/lecturer of listening courses and workshops, Communication Dept., Boise State University
“Be prepared for a marvelous journey, ranging from the whimsical to the deep. Enjoy the land of playfulness, then enter the land of the profound and back again. We are treated to an array of visual and lyrical delights. Take your time, savor the unexpected, words buried in words, charmed and delighted by joy and humor. Be disturbed by the depths of love and loss, despair and anguish. Amelia Earhart is aptly metaphorized in this work. Like Amelia, Linda is adventurous, brave and daring. She explores in ways others don’t. She takes chances, experiments with different modes, hits edges of space. She soars like the paper doll that she folded into the form of an airplane to explore heights and depths of all aspects of emotional life in her own unique nuanced way. The Beauty of Listening is fun to read. Soar with her.” - DR. EMILY KRESTOW, PhD, Psychoanalyst
The following are shared with gratitude to Sandra L. Balint, Taylor Collins, Dr. Michael Klaper, Ronald Bell, Sherry Pedersen-Thrasher, Susan Lennon, John Reid and Reverend Heng Sure. I was also thrilled to see the poem, Night Flights: Amelia Earhart's Dreams, quoted in this interesting piece by Florida's Poet Laureate, Peter Meinke.
Your book of poems.... It's full of striking images and ideas presented in language that is both accessible and magical. For my sensibility, the balance of gentleness (e.g., "You say you didn't do a thing. You simply listened.) and emotional savagery (e.g., "But first I have to pry it from the finger of another woman's fist.") makes this collection "real." After all, isn't balancing gentleness and savagery pretty much what we all do from day to day? The answer, "Yes!" is found in the pages of The Beauty of Listening. - WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER JOHN REID
Just spent time with "The Beauty of Listening" and my heart is richer by image upon image.
After reading and stopping with favorite vignettes I went through it again for the photos and visual poems.
My day, full of noise and travail, has been gifted by poems that listen. - REVEREND HENG SURE, PhD
POEM BY DR. MICHAEL KLAPER
Poet, Poet, burning bright,
Your words convey a soul in flight.
One scarred by Love's battles, and healing still
Yet, unbowed and undeterred, of steel will
Who sees through pretension with vision clear
Verse born of wisdom, from victories over fear
Words of passion, words of pain
Words of triumph, of hard-won gain
Your heart of beauty is a gift for the ages
Revealed in your words, engraved on the pages,
Lighting the way, giving hope to all
That despite the wounds, the heart stands tall
Kudos to you, for your book, for your gift
I'll read you again, when I my spirit needs lift
You're a beautiful soul, Eve, and a wordsmith true
Know I'm a fan, sending my thanks to you.
~ Dr. Michael Klaper
(Dr. Michael Klaper is one of a few doctors who changed my life more than 20 years ago through his writings. Since then, I've had the pleasure of meeting him, and I gave him an early version of "The Beauty of Listening" (while still in progress). What an inspiration it was to receive this lovely, heartfelt poem in reply.) :)
POEM BY RONALD BELL
Ronald Bell, CEO, Collaborative for Positive Integral Change, also shared this poem as a fun, creative book review of "The Beauty of Listening" on Amazon. I especially enjoyed seemingly effortless motion from "Playful-like-jumbling-gym of words" to secret, sacred-like places...
I feel the need
to express my appreciation
to Life --
for your book of poems,
for your creative imaginative
of words --
that serendipitously carry one
into sweet, delightful, wonder-full,
even sacred like,
spaces and places
hiding right in front of our noses.
~ Ronald Bell
CENTO (COLLAGE POEM) BY SHERRY PEDERSEN-THRASHER
Sherry created a new poem in the form of a cento, composed of lines from eleven different poems in "The Beauty of Listening." Her fascinating new poem took on the theme of the disillusionment of the fairy tale. Sherry also created a painting of the poem, which I hope to share soon, too! But first, here's Sherry's cento...
I live in a postcard. Where do you find the stories? Standing tall he says "You need me" "I'm empty" she says staring at her drained glass. Fooling with words as you drink the ink from that spot. She is a few scattered hours where the sidewalk ends to pour a little more. He gets down on one knee, she hears her sister's voice "Did I see that movie yet?"
~ Sherry Pedersen-Thrasher
Created with lines from "The Beauty of Listening"
COLLAGES BY SUSAN LENNON
I also received, in response to the book, a burst of creativity and colors from artist Susan Lennon. Amidst images for flowers, locks with keys, openings, unfoldings and music, were thoughtful words of hearts opening, inner lives explored, and, beneath a little bird, the words: "Sitting still... thinking... dreaming..."
Beside the first collage, Susan wrote a note that described "The Beauty of Listening" and the listening message expressed within it as "an urgently needed attribute in our noisy world, along with the need for 'the tender touch of kindness...'" (from the poem, "Paper Dolls")
(Without finding and seeking permission from every artist whose work appears in the collage, I can't share the artwork here, but I hope I've done it some justice by description.)
"THOUGHTS ON THE BEAUTY OF LISTENING BY SANDRA L. BALINT
I was delighted to receive "Thoughts on the Beauty of Listening," in which Sandra, a "fellow" member of the International Women's Writing Guild, beautifully describes and distilled the book's essentials. How special it was to see them through her vision and written with care by hand. (See Sandra's letter below.)
COLLAGE AND BLOG POST BY TAYLOR COLLINS
Taylor Collins, an artist and former President of the National League of American Pen Women, tagged me one morning when she posted this wonderful collage photograph featuring poems from The Beauty of Listening. Taylor also wrote a blog post about The Beauty of Listening and her use of this image as a writing prompt. To read Taylor's blog post, click here! (See Taylor's collage below.)