Bring Them Forth
By: Ruth Panofsky
In lines of compact discernment and visceral association, these poems explore the unsettled lifelines and fractured memories that bind intergenerational relationships. Arranged through the fragmented perspectives of childhood, adolescence, and maturity, Bring Them Forth crosses time with lyric intelligence submissive to silences that reside in language and memory: “You there / behind the closet door,” the speaker writes to a younger self, “record these sounds / / bear them / in your body.” Corporeal insistence gives these coming-of-age poems great insight to the inner passions of family. Mothers and fathers bestow symbolic freight through their bodily actions, and the child, behind the closet door listens so that the poet may speak, years later through her uncertainty. Tenderness, humour, and bold self-inquiry bring forth a new reality from the immense weight of the past, renewed here by exquisite poetry – where new worlds arise from the old.
With deft precision and meticulous attention to detail, the poems in Bring Them Forth achieve a remarkable expansiveness despite – or because of – their compression and brevity … unflinchingly honest, often heartbreaking poems, infused with warmth and humour as much as pathos … A deeply moving and resonant book.
Lisa Richter, author of Nautilus and Bone