Friday, February 24, 2006

14,600 Moons Ago Once Upon A Time: Written and Lived By Annmarie L. Boudreau. Doug Holder. No. Price.

Somerville school teacher and poet Annmarie L. Boudreau writes in her introduction to her new poetry collection: “14,600 Moons Ago Once Upon A Time…”: “Let me introduce myself. I am a woman, who at 56 is feeling comfortable finally in her size six Dr. Martens. My lessons have all come from entwining passages as a daughter, woman, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, teacher, and soul mate. This collection is a reflection of all that I was before emerging to everything I am.” And indeed the poet’s life, which like ours, is marked by happiness and despair. Boudreau who has so far survived breast and skin cancer writes inspite of her afflictions not because of them.

Before each poem in the book is an essay that introduces the reader to different phases of her life. And since she has worn many hats, the poems are a varied bunch. Here is a poem about the “sounds of silence,” that is a favorite of her elementary school charges titled: “Awkward Silence:” “I don’t like awkward silence/ imminent silent void, / cliff hanging inside limbo, / suffocating anticipation, dwelling/ exaggerated soundless noise/
Piercing through my ears.”

And here is an endearing portrait of her grandmother when the poet was playing the role of a grandchild: “Long row of fresh ravioli dough diligently stretched across her white laced sheets placed on her bed/ Angelic ballets flowing from her soul and passing through her lips as she sings her favorite operatic songs.”

There are poems about divorce, her children, and her emergent feminism, to touch on a few. I think many women, and even us men from Mars, can take much from this first collection of poetry by Annmarie Boudreau.

Doug Holder /Ibbetson Update/ Feb. 2006

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