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Poems of Petals, Poodles and Prayers – by Ivy Berry.
A book of poems that relates to periods when a person stood alone amidst a crowd.
Since writing and publishing works of my own, I felt the overpowering desire to publish her work in one volume. Essentially, it describes the author’s lonely struggle through life, and which is reflected in the differing themes of each poem. Amounting to some thirty six in all, the size of the volume does not appear to represent a prolific output for a life’s work. But as the reader turns through each page, they enter periods in my mother's life, which builds up into a chronology of events that influenced her to write them.
Within our family circle, it was common knowledge of the fortunes that slipped through my father's fingers. He was a clever man, but somewhat irresponsible in managing pecuniary matters; spending copious fortunes on extravagant hobbies. This statement may paint a singular picture of his character, and overshadow what he did for his family in later life. In the succeeding years, he more than made up for his extravagance, leaving us secure in a future where the steadily increasing cost of living would have caused us great hardship. The pressures in my mother's early life were unbearable; Father, the majority of the time, spending long periods away on jobs. My sister and I were too young to understand: unable to appreciate the full gravity of our situation, we made constant demands on her time.
There seeming to be no respite from the drudgery in her life, she turned to her poetry. In some of her fantasies, one can sense how she loses herself in them; seeming to step into the environments she creates to briefly experience their tranquillity. But she was not without her companions, and emulates them in some of her works. The pets in her life provided real companionship that she drew on constantly, and were always present to welcome her home after hard days at work.
Ivy Berry, believed poetry was a language of the spirit, allowing one to express their innermost feelings. Effectively, she felt that one could develop the ability to romanticise more, in the choice of poetic dialogue, and when applying a lyrical gait to verse; impact its meaning on others by teasing at their imagination. All of us possess different ideals that we adhere to in life, and which can reflect our hopes and fears for the future. But more than that, my mother believed the spiritual aspect of poetry allowed one to step into the created environment.
The poems in this book may not appear to arise from any genial inspiration, like many of the great masters' works. But the creation of each one represents a particular moment, where it allowed my mother to generate space in her life- gain a little respite from the intolerable pressures that plagued her at the time. I personally get my relief in music. But when I read her poems, I can sense the intrinsic values in them similarly: how they offer brief moments that allow me to rationalise what is happening in my life.
Though, in these modern times, sophisticated technology provides copious methods of communication, one can still feel alone, even when surrounded by intimate family. This was the case when my mother wrote her poems. Isolated amidst her family members, focused on aspects of life that did not appear to include her at the time, she stepped into the world of poetic fantasy. People of her age, and up to the present, will be able to sense her underlying moods in these works. Traditional in their use of poetic dialogue, they tell the story of a time when a soul stood alone in the midst of a crowd... CJB.
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About Chis J Berry - Having now been retired for the best part of a year, I am finding time to be a premium. Writing dominates my day, completing and planning new projects. This current project, of my mother's poems, has raised much nostalgia in me. Previously released as three small booklets during the past, they raised moderate interest. But with more sophisticated facililities available now, I have compressed the three books into one. The content of the review speaks for itself. I feel it has been worthwhile to take time out from my own projects, to avail this simple book of poems that relate real human issues in a life.