If you are looking for a poetry book to lull you to sleep, to fill your head with pretty pictures and soothing rhymes, then look elsewhere. Making Little Edens is NOT the book for you. In this collection of poems, Merimée Moffitt picks you up, gives you a good shake, and takes you along for a ride that spans generations in a lifetime. Unconventional, insightful, and, I suspect, a whole lot of fun to be around, Moffitt is also a very gifted poet.
The poems in Making Little Edens were written from 1980 through 2013, but give us a view into Moffitt's life, beginning in the forties and fifties and bringing us up to the present. She writes both in free verse and in more structured forms, defining, reflecting, and bringing her subject matter to life, whether it is a snow dance in Taos, the birth of a baby, or the death of a friend.
In Granai, Afghanistan May 2009, she uses free verse:
smooth curves like satin to fall on
a third cherub with curls
in her arms in soft cotton dress
leather-soled shoes tied nicely
like her brother's her sister's
shoes now minced for landfill
by our unbelievable overkill
can one finger press a button
to bomb the mother's babies
in one second
in one second faster
than birth or conception
they are gone
"phone call against bombing babies" is more structured, yet equally powerful:
bodies picnics pets husbands toys
collateral damage yet we stand tall
how much to pay for kids so small?
who will be spared the girls? the boys?
Moffitt's writing is powerful, and she doesn't shy away from her truth, telling the story of a generation while at the same time sharing her own wild ride through decades of change, growth, and living, raw and real.
Merimée arrived in El Rito, NM, in a shiny green Chrysler in 1970 with a carload of Vietnam vets. She brought her dog, frying pan, cutting board, trinkets, and clothes. She fell in love with everything northern New Mexico, staying to raise a family and teach for 25 years; she also writes poems and stories. Visit her blog.
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