Many of Feld's best poems take family as their subject matter. Some made me smile ruefully, like the one about a college-aged son clearing out his room. Another, titled "Burning," made me wince with recognition: "Now at 57 I could be / such a good mother," Feld writes, "absorbing the wild crazed / force field of their tantrums..." As the mother of a thirteen-month-old who’s just beginning to express anger, those lines resonate for me.
...Though I've quoted from the interpersonal poems, Feld's biblical and liturgical poems move me the most of everything in the collection. This may say something about their relative strength, and may also say something about the places where I am most tender. I love her "Kol Nidre," which includes the lines
Every day, I break my vows
to cherish this moment,
to be a responsible
citizen of the world...
I implore You –
Let me try again.
Read the whole thing here: Merle Feld: Finding Her Words.