Within its first few lines, this slim collection plunges you deep into a family home populated by people so real you can visualise them. The poems that follow explore feelings of loss, nostalgia and, in some cases, regret. These are odes to family members long gone, and to the echoes of childhoods when an aunt’s chicken broth and noodles served in “bowls rimmed with fading flowers” summons up the smells and sounds of a home the lives only in nostalgia now.
There’s an intimate feel to the whole, akin to overhearing family legends, with countless lines that could be preceded with “Do you remember…?”
A simple storytelling feel gives Patricia Averbach’s poems an unshowy strength – every sentence is thoughtfully placed, with no attempts to dazzle with trickery. And, I think, that’s just how it should be. Continue reading