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LOVE and TIME … Parents, an anthology of poems by women writers

51cKCP2xbLL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_When I noted that Second Light Network of Women Poets (SLN) had produced an anthology of poems about parents, I thought it a wonderful idea. It became the inspiration for the The BeZine’s January theme, Parents and Parenting, and I had to buy a copy.

Parents, an anthology of poems by women writers (Enitharmon, 2000) turns out to be a wonderful collection, moving me to laughter and tears, celebration and remorse through memories that explore the range of experience from loving and nurturing to appalling or abusive. Given the theme, you might expect to find some of the 170 or so poems  to be saccharine or manipulative, but none are. This is, I’m sure, as much a testimony to the taste and discretion of editor/poets Myra Schneider and Dilys Wood as it is to the skill and sensibility of the featured poets.

Particularly touching were the poems that harken back to parents who were refugees during World War II or parents who died during that period. I found these especially poignant partly because many of the elders around me when I was young were refugees from that war and partly because today we have even more people migrating to escape dangerous environments. I can’t help but wonder what poetry will have to say when the children of this diaspora come of age.

About parents as a theme for the collection, U.A. Fanthorpe wrote in the preface:

“I suppose many people, if asked what is the greatest theme of poetry, would say Love, or Time.  It seems clear to me, faced with this fine anthology, that the right answer is Parents.  For parents combine love and time, and in a very striking, difficult way.  The love is often embarrassed, undeclared, too late – tangled in some way.  And the time is reversed; the parent is the child, the child the parent, by the process of time.  So it certainly is here, where the older women see elderly parents as their children, remember the energy and passion of parents who were younger then they are now; or recall their younger, brusque or uncomprehending selves. The originality of the theme with the special insights of women, who are often more vulnerable to their parents than their brothers are, and also less able to escape, adds to the particular qualities of this anthology.”

Both thumbs up on yet another fine collection from the women of SLN.  At this writing Amazon US and UK have one or two new copies and both sites have used copies available.

The January issue of The BeZine will be available on the 15th and, thanks to the generosity of the editors and publisher of the anthology, will include two poems from Parents, an anthology of poems by women writers.

© 2016, review, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved


Not Afraid of the Light

FullSizeRender. . . . . .Resting. . .

in that place where endless sky meets ocean wave,
where plump blue berry meets thin green leaf,
where illumination gifts fifty shades of joy.

. . . . . Breathing and breathing and never minding

the house begging for repair, the tree wanting a trim.
Never minding the floors awaiting the broom,
the accounts begging for their balance . . .

. . . . . . Only joy …

from the quiet mind and the still hand,
Joy! dancing on sunbeams and resting
on the limb of a moonlighted tree . . .

. . . . . .Joy! Only joy …

. . . . . . . . . . .in Light!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .more Light

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”  Plato

© 2016, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

Waging Peace

Thanks to many of you who read here, the December issue of “The BeZine” with its special section “Waging Peace” went moderately viral with more visits and more shares through the whole diversity of social media than ever before. It did our hearts good. It was healing to see just how many people supported the ideas and ideals expressed in this special section. For those of you who missed “Waging Peace,” do your own heart good and check it out . . .

Waging Peace
An Interfaith Exploration

You are the promise . . . the one . . . the hope, Rev. Ben Meyers, Unitarian Universalist cleric

What Have We Done That People Can Pick Up Weapons and Kill?, Fr. Daniel Sormani, C.S.Sp., Catholic Priest

With Faith In Love Beyond All Beliefs, an open letter, Unitarian Universalist clerics

Dear Non-Muslim Allies,  Sofia Ali-Khan, Muslim activist for understanding

Peace Be Upon You, شوشان – سلام عليكم, Tunisian poet, Anis Chouchène, Muslim

Mosquitoes, American-Israeli poet, Michael Dickel, Jewish

Peace Steps: One Man’s Journey Into the Heart of His Enemies, Rabbi Mark Gopin, Jewish

Waging Peace, Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, Buddhist


And thus we begin . . .

If you are viewing this post from Facebook or email, it’s likely you will have to click through to watch the video. 

May this be the year we let go of certainty and embrace mystery.

May this be the year we know love as respect and peace as decision.

HAPPY 2016!