The Spring Before Spring
Silverman, Taije Jalaya
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Few of these poems were written before my mother's diagnosis with brain cancer in 2002. The narrative certainty and iambic quatrains of "Syros, 1989" and "Virtu Semper Viridis" point to retrospect. Through distance, I could frame them the way one might take an aerial picture of a building. When my mother got sick, I found myself inside that building. I couldn't see its shape, or know how many rooms it held. The iamb shifted from trustworthy guide to something more unreliable. The fragmented voice in the "Little by Little" poems reflects this shift, as do the barrel-over-boulder speeds of "The Way it Falls" and "As if Memory." Memory is my manuscript's theme--my mother's memory, as it changed, becoming my memory. Some of the pieces here are written to my memory: my memory in the future, yet to come. I could direct my rage at it, disbelieve it, and beg it. The manuscript is divided into four parts, for the members of my family, and for the seasons, which overlap.