The main theme of this book is women. 'Mother and Daughter', the core sequence of six poems, recreates the life of my grandmother and the first thirty years of my mother's life, drawing on information my mother gave me. It shows how domination by parents, husband and society restricted a great many women at the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century, leaving them dissatisfied and unfulfilled. The poems also show how this legacy is handed down the generations. Here is the last part of 'The Loser', the main poem about my grandmother, Leah:
At last husband, children,
|Littlewood Press 1991
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the undismantled marriage bed.
For three decades
my grandmother's anger mountained,
swirled among the unheard cries
of unfulfilled women.
|A shorter sequence looks at the life of my mother-in-law, a refugee, and the circumstances which shaped her life. The title poem follows her escape from Vienna a few months before the War in 1939.
|There are two poems about famous women and other poems which focus on women and their lives, also a sequence, 'Tongue' that looks at language from different perspectives.
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