Like a great photographer, MARA BERGMAN celebrates the moment and detail at the core of memory. Together, her poems show the great changes families experience – the free and fearless life of a young woman set alongside a dying mother hanging on so she can hold a great-grandchild, the one-sided conversations we have with the dead.
Her dynamism is infectious – you are drawn into this family’s wonder, love, compassion, grief and happiness. Bergman’s poems remind me of Pablo Neruda’s belief in the driving force of love: ‘Hold on to that, don’t let it get away …’ and one of the final poems, ‘The Happiness’, delivers the book’s message: ‘Before it leaves, I will bury it deep enough to save.’
After reading these poems, you’ll feel braced and ready, you’ll feel wiser and more generous, you’ll want to hold on to moments that contain your own astonishment.