R' Irwin Kula on the Rabbi in the Public Square
Parenthood and Pesach

Merle Feld on Waiting to Unfold

I've just gotten another quote for the back of Waiting to Unfold, the poetry collection I'm blessed to have coming out later this spring from Phoenicia. I suspect the quote will be abbreviated for the book cover, but I wanted to share it here in full, because it's just so gracious and so lovely.


In these remarkable poems Rachel Barenblat traverses the world of first-time parenthood with insight, generosity, rare courage.  She shares first innocent awe, then unexpected darkness as a winter of the soul claims squatter's rights in the nursery, and finally, aching, yearning, growing toward hope, a relearning of holy presence in small things.  We ascend and plummet on the rollercoaster with her, terror in the pit of the stomach, knuckles white, and then – unparalleled joy.  "Daily I expand how much I can love/ your toes, your cough, your raised eyebrow… Each day your glee polishes my rough edges/ and I shine…"  New parents will be astonished that someone has found words for their deepest secrets, parents long past these early months will gratefully nod – yes, I remember, this is true. 

-- Merle Feld, author of A Spiritual Life: Exploring the Heart and Jewish Tradition (SUNY Press, revised 2007) and Finding Words (URJ Press 2011)


I'm delighted that Merle -- whose work I have long admired -- has such kind things to say about my forthcoming book. Thank you, Merle! I'm particularly moved to hear Merle say that "new parents will be astonished that someone has found words for their deepest secrets" -- that's exactly how I felt when I was reading Heid E. Erdrich's The Mother's Tongue (specifically the series of poems called "Milk Sour") when I was new to motherhood and was struggling to name my welter of emotions.

I can't wait to be able to share this collection with all of y'all. Stay tuned for more.