You may know that I am very fond of books, the physical objects. I like to hold books, feel the paper of the pages, smell that inky new-book smell, etc. But, some books aren’t available physically, including self-published books. I’ve always liked the idea of making one’s work available for friends and family, and don’t expect perfect copy editing, formatting and all that (what I DO mind is being charged a lot of money for a printed book, only to find it was not copy edited AT ALL, has eight random fonts, and is randomly justified).
Today I’m not talking about one of those! Instead, I’d like to briefly share a book of poems I just read, which I know I’ll re-read many times. Past Life: Poems is a collection of poems by my long-time online friend Ida Bettis Fogle. She’s always been a word person, as shown by her thoughtful posts that I’ve enjoyed for many years and her career as a librarian.
She published this collection of her favorite poems from the past 25 years to share with her friends. A lot of gushing has ensued, as members of our long-time group of mothers pointed out their favorites. Why were they so enthusiastic?
Well, Ida has captured the experience many women of my generation had, both in childhood and as mothers. Many of her poems brought images back to my mind of similar events I’d been through…it’s like I continued her poems in my own head.
One of my favorites, “Three Minus One,” talks about the third child you never had but always wanted. The longing you feel for a child who almost seems real mirrors my own experience exactly.
There are poems about birth, vacation, scary things, and beautiful things, all the kinds of small but memorable things many of us have experienced as we go through life. Ida celebrates moments and captures them for the rest of us to share. And it is formatted normally with only one typo (that I didn’t notice).
If you need something to take your mind off the present and take you back to a past that is real, but not all bad, you might really enjoy Past Life. I found it worth much more than the four dollars and odd membership process in Smashbooks that was required to obtain my PDF. (And if you are a poet or other kind of writer, this may be a way for you to share YOUR work with others.)