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She Wore Emerald Then: Reflections On Motherhood Paperback – May 15, 2012
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She Wore Emerald Then is more than a collection of poems; it is a collection of life. Each, poignantly written, takes the reader to the brink of emotion and resurrects another time and place as the page is turned. Filled with beautiful words, She Wore Emerald Then is also filled with the complexities and challenges life visits upon us from conception to last breath; a verbal and visual experience from start to finish.
An exceptional read, I recommend this book to all who love the written word and the beauty of its gift.
~Reviewed by Jozette Aaron, editor of DeSilva's News
From the Inside Flap
She wore Emerald Then was honored for excellence by the Military Writers Society of America and was a finalist by USA Book News. It is second in the multi award-winning Celebration series of book by two poets working from two different hemispheres of the planet.
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Top customer reviews
I'd like this to become an audio book.
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.
Magdalena Ball's poems have a kind of boundless feel. Much of her writing comes from an expansive view, with the entire universe as her canvas. There is a literary beauty to her imagery, even when the words come from a place of pain.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's poems feel more earthy. Her writing is rooted to a moment and a memory. They are personal stories she shares in the most intimate way.
I love the difference in the authors' styles. Admittedly, I know little about the specifics of poetic styles. But I do know what moves me. These poems took me on a journey from my own childhood, to becoming a parent, to now being the child of aging parents. While the authors' stories are not my own, they are journeys I understand and words I felt deeply.
The description (on the Amazon.com site only) says "Moods of Motherhood" but it is more than that. At it heart it is about a grown-up child reflecting on the elderly and dying mother and on earlier days when the mother was the strong adult and other. Maybe it is because I am at that stage of life (with a grown-up son and a frail mother) that the poems meant so much to me. The description also suggests that it would make the ideal Mother's Day gift, I'm not so sure about that, I certainly wouldn't give it to my mother, too close to home.
The two poets come at the subject from different points: Magdalena Ball talks about the cosmos before focusing in on the personal with her late poems, Carolyn Howard-Johnson starts with and continues with the personal. And it is the personal that catches the reader in the throat:
We all forget names, I say as numb
moves from hand to heart
because it is my name she has forgotten.
Most recent customer reviews
overall grabbed me but I was particularly moved by these two:
Carolyn's poem, Mother in December, brought tears to my night time reading.Read more