* Poet provided a copy in return for a fair and honest review.
** There’s currently a Goodreads Giveaway for this book. The deadline is 11:59 on Dec 19, 2016. Check it out HERE
Grief is an exacting teacher.
My Best Friend Died
Alice Vo Edwards learned this early. She was only 16 when her best friend died. No warning. No chance to say goodbye. One day Myriah was there, a comfy fixture of Edwards’ world. The next day she wasn’t. How does a young mind–one just learning what life is–process such loss? At least one adult, a teacher, had an idea–pick up a pen. Edwards took the advice.
I consider grief the most protean of human emotions. Just when you think you’ve pinned it down, isolated it, overcome it…wham!…it pops up in an unexpected form and the most unlikely circumstances. Edwards’ poems capture the ineffable nature of sorrow. They vary in form, length and voice. Some ring out with the wail of a child, uncertain, grappling with unfamiliar emotions and a new craft. Others are more circumspect, studied, philosophical.The emotions range from raw sorrow to confusion, rage, nostalgia and, breaking through the dark, hope.
My favorite is probably the “Unutterable” — a few brief lines crafted with cut-glass control that attempt to give shape to the incomprehensible. Though the poem comes early in the collection, its final lines sum up so much of what follows and drills to the core of what it’s like to lose someone you love:
What is least distinct / cannot be named/ What is clearest is unutterable.