Looking for good poetry posts? Start here at Margaret at Reflections on the Teche who is sharing nesting poems and a fabulous oak and moon poem. She is also rounding up all the Poetry Friday's post.
Who knows Lesléa Newman the fabulous author of SPARKLE BOY, GITTEL's JOURNEY, MISS TUTU'S STAR, and DONOVAN"S BIG DAY to name a few? And for teens, the must read book, October Mourning: A SONG FOR MATHEW SHEPARD.
Did you know she also writes for adults? This month her latest book, I WISH MY FATHER, was published. It's a companion book to I CARRY MY MOTHER. Both books honor, give witness, and celebrate her parents.
I was sent an advanced copy of I WISH MY FATHER when Lesléa Newman offered them on Facebook. She include her book about her mother as well. She uses poems such as "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" by Wallace Stevens or "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost or "Who Has Seen the Wind" by Christina Rossetti as well as others as inspirations for her mother's poems that chronicle her illness and passing.. It's a wonderful mentor text.
I WISH MY FATHER delves into life without her mother, how her father coped after losing his wife of 60+ years, and aging. It is a loving tribute filled with poems that resonated with this reader. I remember how my father lived without his wife and life partner of 50 + years. Moments of sadness, followed by his flirtatious nature and grappling with issues like giving up driving and moving to assisted living while keeping his dignity.
Poems such "My Father Drove My Mother", "The Second Time We Visit" revealing the hard decision to give up driving is crafted with tenderness and a doctor who was brilliant in getting to the point. It brought me back to when my father decided not to drive anymore.
There's an aching in the poem "My Father is Slipping" with the words:
"...and that's how I know the ladies"
man my mother loathed
and loved for all her life
has finally slipped away"
In the final poem, "My Mother is at the Bridge" imagines what it was like when her father and mother met up in heaven. So poignant and the last stanza is perfect. Many of us imagine those reunions the our loved ones pass from this earth. We want to make sense of what is no longer. I have imagined the reunion of my parents.
These narrative poems capture Lesléa Newman's love for her dad and who he was as a person in the last acts of his life. Many readers who has lost their parents will be able to connect with these moving poems.
If you need a poetry book or two, I highly recommend I WISH MY FATHER and I CARRY MY MOTHER.
WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER
Gail Aldous won the calendar. Please email me your mailing address, Gail.
All photos and poems in these blog posts are copyrighted to Jone Rush MacCulloch 2006- Present. Please do not copy, reprint or reproduce without written permission from me.