Thursday, April 04, 2013



Something Small to Carry Home (Quattro Poetry, 2012)
          Isa Milman

In this, Milman's third collection, she digs ever deeper in the mysteries of life. I've been to a few workshops with her and it was wonderful not only to see some poems I remember getting to meet in the delivery room, and now I get to see how they grew up. I swear, more revision goes into a poem than the time it takes to jot down the first draft. But you poets know that, don't you?

The poems in this book celebrate survival and give nods to special occasions. A Bat Mitzvah. A 90th birthday. In For Nicholas Upon Leaving Victoria for Montreal she knits a sweater that will double as something to keep Nicholas warm and something to keep her busy. 

                  So I chose blue
                  to wrap around my fingers,
                  click my needles to grow twisted columns,
                  the ins and outs that have passed between us.

                  In the end, isn't it all about love?
                  What more can we hold onto?

A couple of the poems were in Crossing Lines, Poets Who Came to Canada in the Vietnam War, (Seraphim Editions, 2008). 

There is such a gentle tone to these poems, even the ones with the most difficult subject matter. A lovely book to read during Poetry Month. 

Not counting some chapbooks, this is Isa Milman's third collection of poetry, each lovelier than that last.

Her previously published books are: 
Between the Doorposts, Poetry (Ekstasis Editions, 2004)
Prairie Kaddish (Coteau Books, 2008)


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