Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide
These Mothers of Gods
BY RACHEL BOWER, PUBLISHED BY FLY ON THE WALL PRESS ON JULY 16, £8.99
YVETTE HUDDLESTON 4/5
Rachel Bower’s accomplished and resonant collection of poetry explores mothering, nurturing and caring, in many different forms and guises.
There are poems that speak of looking after our own children, but also of thinking about those of others and of taking care of our planet and the other species we share it with. The mothers we meet in Bower’s beautiful, thoughtful, carefully constructed poems are not all human – they include one about a vixen protecting her ‘nest of dusty cubs’ she is ‘as alert to threat as they are ignorant’, another follows the reproductive life cycle of a female seal ‘a time to pup, to spill, to rend’; a queen bee lists her duties (‘it all needed doing that summer’) in Hive Mother. There are poems of joy and heartache, hope and despair, the whole gamut of emotions that come with the responsibility of motherhood and Bower expresses them with such open-hearted clarity. She does not shy away from the brutality of childbirth either – the poems that address this are so powerful, visceral, honest and true.
Throughout, Bower asks that we put ourselves in other people’s shoes – the refugee giving birth on a flimsy dinghy ‘a sea-coffin’, the mother coping with drought in West Bengal, the dark corners of post-natal depression in Madwoman. A stunning collection – moving, uplifting and timely.