Holding good thoughts: Poems by Ingrid Goff-Maidoff


“Moonlight and Remembrance,” by Ingrid Goff-Maidoff. Sarah’s Circle Publishing, 2011. $12.

“What Holds Us, New and Selected Poems” by Ingrid Goff-Maidoff. Sarah’s Circle Publishing, 2011. $14.

Think joy, romance, love, reverence, and gratitude. Think positive, and you will be of like mind with poet, musician, and artist Ingrid Goff-Maidoff. It is an attitude of grace that Ms. Goff-Maidoff promotes and champions through her work, and one she subscribes to with utmost sincerity.

A long-time presence at the seasonal Artisans Festivals, Ms. Goff-Maidoff creates affordable gifts and small self-published books of poetry and meditations — “The Honey Sutras,” “The Joy Book,” “The Abundance of Grace,” “Good Mother Welcome” — produced by her own Sarah’s Circle Publishing.

Her writing is intimate and very personal — she would say “autobiographical but universal” — and should be enjoyed served straight up, certainly undiluted by not as much as a drop of cynicism or sarcasm.

Her newest offerings are “What Holds Us, New and Selected Poems,” and “Moonlight and Remembrance,” in which she writes:

…If you’ve never been shimmered by moonlight,

these poems may seem frivolous as a dozen wagging fingers.

But if you’ve ever been flooded with living,

Even if only a little,

You may find remembrance

In what these words fail to describe…”

“Moonlight and Remembrance” is a small, hand-sized book whose approximately 50 pages are unnumbered and whose poetry is for the most part, untitled. The collection is described as “Mystic Love Poems,” but does not imply that Ms. Goff-Maidoff’s work is at all obtuse or inaccessible.

The poems speak of shared love, nature’s wonders, and encourage a disposition for joy. The lines are threaded with the ordinary moments that make up the bits and pieces of a day’s routine.

“I’m hanging out my shingle as a lover of love,

keeping the hearth warm,

and brewing tea for anyone who might wander ecstatically by.”

Ms. Goff-Maidoff is a Chilmark resident, and with her husband, Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School teacher Jonah Maidoff, the parent of two daughters, Rose and Isabella. The daughter of Pam and illustrator Clark Goff, she is a poet, singer, and songwriter who used to perform with her sister Heather Goff. But it is her books that seem the most authentic expression of herself.

“I always carry a notebook with me, and catch things as they come,” she says. “I work all the time. Sometimes a line seems to come on the spot.”

Much of her inspiration results from the Vineyard’s natural beauty. “There’s something to stepping outside of your home,” she says, “and being able to walk in a beautiful place.

In “What Holds Us” she writes:

“God spoke today in flowers,

and I, who was waiting on words,

almost missed the conversation.”

It would be difficult to imagine someone not finding a smile and pleasant thought at receiving a gift of one of Ms. Goff-Maidoff’s books.

Ingrid Goff-Maidoff’s work is available at Night Heron Gallery, where she in among the collaborative of artists, and Bunch of Grapes, both on Main Street in Vineyard Haven. Her gifts and book can be found at tendingjoy.com and at ingridgoffmaidoff.com.