One of those books that is on my ‘to buy’ list, this review makes me want to buy it even more.
Jacqueline Saphra’s debut collection, All my Mad Mothers, is one of observation and experience, resistance and discovery, inhibition and abandon. The poems within are vivacious explorations of daughterhood, adulthood, and motherhood, a spinning wheel of rebellion, conformity, protest and revelation.
Analogous to reading the old family encyclopaedias, these poems contain the secret thrill of self-discovery, an exhilarating exegesis of the female body as it responds to age and expectation.
The collection begins with ‘In the winter of 1962 my mother’, a poem that navigates the silence and isolation of a woman who fails to subscribe to contemporary social norms:
travelling round and round in shrinking circles
not sure how to execute the move outwards
into another lane never having been
properly taught how to make an exit
Given the deluge of fairy tales ready to instruct generations of young girls on how to acquire a husband (a passive mixture…
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