Biting the Apple

by Jeanie Greensfelder



Purchase on Amazon

70 pages, December 2012
Published by Penciled In
Designed by Benjamin Daniel Lawless

Spanning seven decades, these intimate poems capture the human journey from the loss of innocence to the fullness of life. With humor and candor, Greensfelder evokes Joseph Campbell’s “sorrowful joys and joyful sorrows.”

Smoky Mountain High

At daybreak in the Smokies
I saw my first fallen cloud. Mother
called it fog, but it looked like heaven
dropped down to look around.

Billowing white beckoned,
if I could reach it before the sun
took heaven back to be
one more cloud in the sky.

About Jeanie Greensfelder

Jeanie Greensfelder grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. A psychologist, she seeks to understand herself and others on this shared journey, filled, as Joseph Campbell wrote, with sorrowful joys and joyful sorrows. Now living on the central coast of California with her husband Andy, she writes poetry.

Winner of the Lillian Dean Poetry Award, 2013. Her poems have been published in American Life in Poetry, Porter Gulch Review, Askew, Riptide, Falling Star, if&when and in these anthologies: Pushing the Envelope: Epistolary Poems and Yellow Bricks and Ruby Slippers.

“Genie’s Pocket” can be seen monthly at


Get ready! Get ready to experience how poems linking surprise to feeling fire-up your own creative synapses. These poems possess a crisp, bright, wetness – a delicious sense of Eros. Greensfelder's poems are exactly what one wants and expects when biting the apple, when living this whole life.
— John Fox, author of Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making and Founder of The Institute for Poetic Medicine

This delightful collection spans nearly 70 years of the poet's experience tasting apples in the Garden of her life, beginning with her earliest memories as a child of three and ending with observations about grandchildren. As good poetry should, these poems evoke insights about ourselves and the light and dark world of which we are all apple-biting by-products.
— Margaret Van Every, author of A Pillow Stuffed with Diamonds (2011) and Saying Her Name (2012)

In this coming of age and beyond book, Greensfelder writes with humor and charm. Federico Garcia Lorca said the essence of poetry was in "el vulnerado." Biting the Apple reveals this vulnerability from the child who faces life's pain to the adult who finds survival skills. Biting the Apple is a delightful and moving verse memoir.
— Glenna Luschei, Past Poet Laureate San Luis Obispo, Editor & Publisher of Solo Press

In Biting the Apple, a collection of 50 poems, Jeanie Greensfelder explores her interior life as easily and fearlessly as one might explore the familiar interior of one's own house. Intelligent, introspective, surprisingly funny, and compelling, it's like a freshly opened box of chocolates, begging us to read just one more. Greensfelder reveals herself in such a way that we can see our own souls reflected in hers, and thus recognize that we are all, as psychiatrist Harry Stack Sullivan said, "... simply much more human than otherwise."
— Susan Stewart, Say It Right, Journal Plus Reviewer


Jeanie Greensfelder is currently serving as San Luis Obispo County’s poet laureate during 2017, 2018.

Hear Garrison Keillor read Jeanie's poem “First Love” on the November 3, 2014 episode of The Writer's Almanac.

Greensfelder achieves accessibility, and Biting the Apple would be a good collection to hand to any person who claims not to be able to understand contemporary poetry.

— From Lynn Domina's review of Biting the Apple

Watch Craig Michael Davis' performance of three songs inspired by Jeanie's poems from Biting the Apple on YouTube.

Read Jeanie's poem Sixth Grade, featured at American Life in Poetry.

Lean more about Jeanie Greensfelder at her website.

Other books by Jeanie Greensfelder