Art * Dance * Poetry * Music * Musings
"What if the mightiest word is love?" ~ Elizabeth Alexander
I'm in awe, Maureen. The cover evokes feelings that all make me think of you. I'm so very happy for you. I hope I have opportunity to read this soon.
Oh wow! I'm off to order my copy now!!!!!Yippeee!!!This is soooo exciting!
It's beautiful :)
I am delighted to be the first person who has read the collection to comment and recommend it to others. If you are here, you're already a follower of Maureen: with Neruda's Memoirs you get a whole book's worth, and you get her on demand! What's not to like?
Love the vote of confidence, Jay! I owe you big time.L.L., we'll have to have tea one day soon.Louise, you already know how I feel.Mayank, thank you so much for your kind words.Anne, isn't Randall's work terrific? I couldn't have asked for a cover more perfect. Thank you.
Congratulations Maureen, my sheWrites sister! So proud of your moment, buying my copy tonight!
I just ordered my copy. Can't wait to read it.
No one is more deserving of this great debut moment than you are, Maureen. You write so intently, intensely and elegantly all the while giving of yourself, sharing your sensibility and vision with all of us; Brava! Jenne'
Congratulations! The cover is beautiful.
sMichelle, thank you. I've enjoyed getting to know you at She Writes and looking forward to more "workshopping".Glynn, now you don't need to be impatient anymore.Jen, you write some pretty mean poems yourself.Simon, thank you for your kind words and Twitter RTs.
Can't imagine....awesome. Congrats. Can't wait to get my hands on it.
Congratulations! It's beautiful.
Congrats! How wonderful! Need to get a copy myself too.
Jerry, Cheryl, and Annika, Thank you so much for your kind words.
I'm not sure how, but I almost missed this ... What a privilege to hold your words in our hands and our hearts.The art work is evocative as well.Blessings, Maureen, in this venture!
Susan, your words honor me.
WOW!!! CONGRATULATIONS!! I am so thrilled for you--and you are so deserving of this.
Congratulations, Maureen. The cover is gorgeous!! As is the inside too I'm sure.
Maureen's "Neruda's Memoirs" approaches three of poetry's dominant subjects, love, death, and memory with fresh imagery, an unusual immediacy, and a bottomless reservoir of feeling. Much of the language is impressionistic, with lines and images sketching a specific feeling regarding a memory, a loss, or an encounter with nature. Maureen's imagery is very visual, effectively placing the reader in a given natural context (the Everglades, for example). These images are sharp, suggestive, and highly original. In strong poems like "Trial Season" we are offered a summer that "commit[s] suicide/on a city sidewalk in front of you." Maureen walks lightly around relationships coming together and dissolving, with a wry acceptance of love's elusive reality and a recognition of the differences in the way the sexes look at the same things. While most of these poems are serious in intent, the occasional amusing poem lightens the mood. "See Me, Let Me, Be Me Barbie" is one such example. Composed primarily in rhymed couplets, this poem plays with the notion of the Barbie doll as fantasy figure, an escape for any girl or woman stuck in the roll the culture has imposed upon her. Other poems offer intense snippets of remembered childhood. For example, in "Summer Camp Highlights," the speaker experiences "Pent up boyness letting go." In contrast, "Grief's Lessons," and "Breaking It Off: Letter from Anne Sexton," take the reader into the heart of grief, the feeling of betrayal by God; these most intense memories are of the grieving for Patrick, Maureen's bother, who died in May of 2009. These poems and several others offer a close meditation on grief and loss. They build on the idea that no one is immune from being humbled by grief, and transform the poet's personal, life-changing grief for her brother into a more universal pain, opening a wound for the reader to see and feel. This is difficult to bring off without sinking into sentimentality, and is done so here with consummate skill and courage. Such poems could not have been easy to wring onto the page, and offer an insight into this poet's primary concerns: grief is ultimately about the little things we remember, the yawning holes left in our lives by the now empty chair across the dinner table, for example. Maureen is especially effective in looking closely at these, at confronting the "nothing" left after her brother is gone. The poems do not disappoint at this most crucial juncture. The final third of the book examines the memories the grief-stricken must contend with day after day. This is, the poet implies, the hardest part of grief, because while the dead are gone, we must continue living, now with their memories to make an already hard life even harder. As the poet asks, "Where do we take cover/once the dying's done?" For anyone who has been down grief's road, these are very real, very difficult questions.Read this exceptional book, and the difficult answers become somewhat clearer.
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