Hard Core Love

To Whom It Does Concern

Do you believe me when I say / you’re beautiful
I stand here and look at you out of the vision of my eyes
and into the vision of your eyes and I see you and you’re an
and I see you and you’re divine and I see you and you’re a
divine animal
and you’re beautiful
the divine is not separate from the beast; it is the total crea-
ture that
transcends itself
the messiah that has been invoked is already here
you are that messiah waiting to be born again into awareness
you are beautiful; we are all beautiful
you are divine; we are all divine
divinity becomes apparent on its own recognition
accept the being that you are and illuminate yourself
by your own clear light

(Lenore Kandel)

"The paradox of Lenore Kandel is that she is one of the very best and most significant poets of the modern era, and also one of the least read and critically appreciated. Kandel came of age during the 1950’s and 1960’s and (excepting a few small chapbooks with minimal distribution) published only two books of poetry: The Love Book and Word Alchemy. Those two books alone should have established her as one of America’s foremost poets. Certainly no other poet has exceeded her in depth, breadth or daring of poetic vision. Her work exhibits clarity, technical excellence, style, passion and courage in venturing into the terra incognita of the human heart. Yet, the literary establishment has relegated her to a footnote in the history of the Beats and Hippies, and gives more weight to The Love Book’s prosecution for obscenity than to the book itself..."