Gold (Poiema Poetry) (Paperback)
Cascade Books, 9781620329405, 70pp.
Publication Date: June 10, 2013
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Description: Barbara Crooker's new book Gold focuses on one of the most profound life-altering experiences possible: losing one's mother. This collection is an elegy, not just to the speaker's mother, but to a lost Eden that cannot be reclaimed. Beginning with a series of lyrics set in autumn, the poems become more narrative, recounting the long illness of Crooker's mother, her death, and the profound journey along the shores of grief. Throughout, Crooker is aware of the complexity and strength of the mother/daughter relationship and the chasm that this loss opens. The book includes other themes: poems about aging and the body, the loss of friends, the difficulties and joys in a long-term marriage, and always, the subtle ways faith influences the way Crooker experiences life. Her work has great scope, spanning the globe from rural Pennsylvania to Ireland, and reaching not just within herself but also outside of herself, to ekphrastic poems on the paintings of Gorky, Manet, Matisse, and others. This is the book of a mature writer, one who demonstrates an awareness of our own impermanence, our brokenness, and one who knows that if our parents go before us, we will have to learn to live with loss. In this book, we see the redemptive power of poetry itself to heal and to console.