Yaya's Cloth (Hardcover)
Iris Press, 9780916078652, 105pp.
Publication Date: March 1, 2007
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Like a Mona Lisa smile, the lives of preceding generations are only partially revealed to us, tantalizing in their slim facts and shadowy contours. In Yaya's Cloth, Andrea Potos searches and deepens the narrative of her Greek heritage as embodied by her beloved grandparents, Yaya and Papouli. Fleshing out fragments of family chronicles, Potos unfolds classic elements of drama- sacrifice, tragedy, endurance, renewal, all rendered somewhat exotic by the interplay of Greek culture. The story is the richer for being sifted through the heightened impressions of Potos' girlhood, when Greek names for favorite foods and unknown faces in family photographs enticed her to delve deeper and deeper into a world she could only half know, even as it wholly engaged her. Yaya in particular anchors these poems, emerging as a compelling figure of almost archetypal stature. "I speak it-grand mother-as if recalling an empress or Demeter herself." "She glows like a pilot light beneath the days.