Thursday, December 13, 2007


Not What I Expected a Book of Literary Pleasure Is Perfect for the Holidays!

Not What I Expected: The Unpredictable Road from Womanhood to Motherhood edited by Donya Currie Arias and Hildie S. Block and published by Paycock Press of Arlington, Virginia, offers the reader a lush ambrosia for the mind.

Being partial to poetry, I honed in on the poems by the following:

Birth by Patricia Gray deals with a mother's relationship with her son and the subtle openings that make their way into our lives as children grow and leave and all at once become their own person.

In Second Child Sarah Kennedy deals with a mother's anxiety of having two young children and the traumas that arise due to the older possibly wanting to relive her younger years and also perhaps traumas that develop due to jealousy which seem never to die no matter how mature or old the children may grow to be. In a strange kind of way, this poem brought back memories from my own childhood.

Grace Cavalieri, a poetic jewel among the politics of the Washington area, brings the pull and push of relationships in her poem Children to life as children should come and eventually "leave" and in her poem she mixes the metaphor:

"The treasure box looks strange when empty/

I always think it/

should be fuller than it is./

If we give up loss/

what will we have left?"

Perhaps I just happened to focus on the topic of mothers and sons, as recently my own mother came to visit and nurse me after a major back surgery and, of course, had to leave to get back home to her own life, which just happened to be before Thanksgiving. So when I read Mary Ann Larkin's poem On a Son's Leaving After Thanksgiving, this poem hit a nerve though for me is was just the opposite as I have just explained.

And in a nutshell that is one of the reasons I so much love poetry. One can read and interpret/relate on the level that is appropriate for him/her and yet the poem, if it is good, can lend itself to numerous interpretations because its depth of meaning is like the nectar one needs to live off.

To purchase a copy of this anthology, visit

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