The Grandmother Poems
Marcia Katz Wolf
Marcia Katz Wolf's The Grandmother Poems operates at the fulcrum of her family's history. Some of the poems concern her parents after World War II, inscrutably altered by the Holocaust - her mother fresh from a nose job, "Queen Celeste with her trunk cut off;" her father in the cellar darkroom, "his hands rising ghostly from the developing fluid / retrieving something I could not see." Others embody Wolf's own vivid womanhood; still others, her grandchildren's first leaps, beyond the fortress of baby clothes she folds on a bed, toward unknown "frays" and "tears." The final poem portrays Wolf and her husband singing as they push their grandson Yonatan on a swing, "back and forth, back / and forth" - an image that recalls the book's motion through time. Like the grandmother herself, this collection has a long reach, and a warm, strong grasp.
Author of Pictures in the Firestorm: Poems
The Apache words for "grandfather" and "grandson" are the same, or so I've been told. It seems almost too good to be true that there's a language - an entire people - that recognizes the symmetry of our lives in this way. But in any language there are some people who recognize it for the rest of us, and Marcia Katz Wolf is one of them. If any of your grandparents are still living, reading these poems will strengthen your bond with them. If you are a grandparent yourself, they will resonate with you. If you are suspended in between, they will tell you what the Apaches know.
Author of Necessary Virtue
Marcia Katz Wolf's moving yet unsentimental recall of life's past brings richness and meaning to life's present. Whether wry, rueful, whimsical, or elegiac, these beautifully wrought poems reveal the pain that floats on and beneath the surface of memory. Her discerning eye never blinks.
84 pages, $14.95
Poetry: American - General