Enter the Chrysanthemum
PoemsBook - 2009
This is a luminous collection that takes us on a keen-eyed journey from childhood to parenthood: from a child's perspective of her parents, through to the transition to adulthood as a single parent, then finally to the witnessing of a parent's decline and death. Lam details the slow and sometimes painful transformation into motherhood, the transition of generations, the inherent politics behind relationships, and the essential solitude and struggle of being outside the traditionally defined family. In her title poem "Chrysanthemum", Lam remembers her mother's gentle hand with the watercolour brush: "Then, from the finest brush, the outline/ of each petal. Flesh flowed from the fuller one,/ tipped with yellow or lavender,/ until every crown had bloomed/ amid the throng of leaves./ How her hand knew paper through brush/ If only I had been paper,/ that upturned and delicate face,/ stroked and stroked again with such/ precise tenderness, such a patient hand". Lam's new collection is fundamentally as much an exploration of profound loss as it is of love and an individual's reconnection to humanity. This is her second book of poetry.
Publisher: Halfmoon Bay, BC : Caitlin Press, c2009
Branch Call Number: 819.1 L16e
Characteristics: 88 p. ; 21 cm