Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Tribute to the Phases of Motherhood


From the child looking up to her mother, to the young woman giving birth, to the grown daughter watching her mother die; these poems celebrate all phases of that most important mother-daughter relationship. Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdelena Ball show motherhood in different, but equally effective ways.

I love the images in Carolyn's poems. They feel warm; pictures you can almost touch. My particular favorite is “Dandelions in Autumn.” I remember the same scene trying to see if my mother, or any other human being who would stand still long enough, liked butter by holding yellow flowers, buttercups in my case, under her chin.

Maggie's poems are starker, more cosmic. My favorite is “Oxytocin Flow.” In recreating the experience of giving birth it evokes memories of the first relationship with the tiny person, “a high pitched croon of terror only a mother could love.” I remember it well.

There are the painful memories too when a mother is the one needing care. The images of “Mother Daughter” are almost too painful.

This is a perfect collection to celebrate Mother's Day, or any day when we ponder our relationship to our mothers and remember being mothers and daughters ourselves.