"Umbra" is a collection of poems that traces the cycles of life and death, loss and change, which are strangely like the eruption of sun spots-shadows within radiance, a kind of murkiness within all parts of life. With honesty, thoughtfulness and precision of observation, Myrna Patterson connects ordinary experience and the concrete with the natural world and the sacred. She creates a paean to the human spirit which can forgive and find acceptance, even in its bleakest moments. Writing without self-pity or blame, she says, "I sit in dark. I sit in light." Yet, "By being simple, present..." in this moment, transcendence is possible. Across a tapestry of fear and uncertainty, ritual and faith prevail. Ms. Patterson condenses strong feeling into compact images, demonstrating that there is great goodness, despite suffering. Love, kindness and beauty are antidotes to pain; joy can be found in nature, in dance, in flowers, in remembrance, and within the simple gifts and rhythms of everyday life.