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Contemporary tanka are delicately linked with striking black-and-white images in this innovative memoir. A stunning collaboration by an award-winning pair.
Whimsical, humorous, poignant, and wise, the poems in Forward Moving Shadows span the full range of tanka expression. I admire the honesty and courage of Peggy Heinrich's poems-from the intimacy of in my teens / despite the fear / I used to pray / don't let me die / a virgin to the realization that she's grown old in when did I cross / the border from Alice / in Wonderland / into the world / of Miss Havisham? Peggy welcomes us into her recollections of change, loss, and gratitude, and into her heart, filled with warmth and empathy. Like Japanese haiga, John Bolivar's photographs reflect the sentiments evoked by her tanka with exquisite visual reverberations.
The photographs and poems in this wonderful book engage in an evocative and generative dialogue. Don't rush through them. You'll find yourself, as I have, speaking back and seeing with your feelings and your eyes. John Bolivar's beautifully-wrought images will reward your curiosity; Peggy Heinrich's tanka will grow on you. Each becomes a nurturing environment for the other. Happily, they welcome us into a delicate but sturdy sacred space.
Peggy Heinrich's lyrical tanka are utterly convincing. They stem from personal depths and open into universal themes. Often they evince an element of surprise; a fresh perception.
In an intuitive interplay of word and image, Bolivar's photographs integrate with the poetic themes, inviting us to deeper contemplation and insight.
Composed by a consummate poet, Forward Moving Shadows is a moving tanka collection, which is focused on personal growth. There is some elegant pairing with photographs by John Bolivar as Peggy Heinrich records in poetic form her reminiscences of, inter alia, ...hopscotch / sex manuals, therapy, kids / widowhood, birthdays.
These tanka, which are presented in a subtle autobiographical order, delicately sketch Heinrich's life. "how comforting / to sail through memories, / blind to icebergs floating by" she writes. For the reader, how illuminating it is to accompany the poet on her journey.
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