The Charmed House by Deborah Diemont


Between being and seeming, there is always a point of agreement, as if being and seeming were two inclined planes that converge and become one. This observation by novelist José Saramago opens Deborah Diemont’s third collection, The Charmed House,in which diverse forms—villanelle, triolet, blank verse, nonce forms and prose poems—look at the meaning of home, as structure and metaphor. With meditations on twentieth century paintings by Rufino Tamayo; pre-Columbian sites; Victorian houses in contemporary US neighborhoods; and US and expatriate culture, the book considers relationships between the personal and communal, and of history to the present moment. It aims to provide pleasure to the reader with sound and sense, color and rhyme, imagery and music.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 84
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: November, 2020
  • ISBN: 978-1-953252-11-1


Deborah Diemont’s poems are economical, lyrical, often haunting, sometimes very moving. She has an exceptional talent for concentrating the light of her poems through subtle formal constraints. This might be her best collection; it is certainly her most expansive one, stylistically and thematically. —Rory Waterman

Toward the end of The Charmed House, Deborah Diemont relates a story of mix-ups, things lost in translation. But everything she shares here is deeply understood, by both the poet and the reader, even—or perhaps especially—when she steals into ethereal territory, showing us so much as she moves, sure-footed, around her words.

From her illuminating sequence of ekphrastic pieces based on Rufino Tamayo’s paintings to her repeated and insistent use of landscapes familiar and foreign, large and small, everything here burns bright for all to see. —Caitlin Johnson



From the window of the bus as you arrive:
Gold-green corn grows taller than most men;
white cliffs shrug against the gold-blue sky;
tractors scoop up powder for cement;
a little turquoise shrine marks someone’s death;
vultures poke green plastic between pines;
Gas station. Pause. Gas station. Broken line.
Gold star fruit—or it that?—is hawked
at countless speed bumps, substitutes for Stop.
Parents and children edge the country road;
a mare beside a tree is roped too close.
Look down too long, you’d miss some crucial thing:
the jailhouse with white walls and razor wire;
who was it, said they weave strong hammocks there?
Meanwhile, the clouds keep changing, changing shape;
you see in them just what you see below.


Deborah DiemontDeborah Diemont is the author of two previous books of poetry from Dos Madres Press, Wanderer and Diverting Angels. Her poems have appeared in a variety of print and online journals, including Literary Bohemian, Measure, Nimrod International Journal, The Nervous Breakdown, The Raintown Review, Stone Canoe, The Texas Review and The Yale Review. She maintains a vital connection to Chiapas, Mexico, where she has lived and worked; she currently lives in Syracuse, New York.

Additional information

Weight 5.7 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in