A Mother’s String is about the lessons we learn in love and patience. It is about the family ties that bind even in the absence of those we are bound to. The poems are haunted by the memory of homes lived in or wished for. In them we remember our younger selves who have still to learn how far we can climb, how far we can fall.
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73 pages | 6×9
A Review of A Mother’s String in Pacific Rim Review of Books, 2006
A Mother’s String, Andrea McKenzie, Ekstasis
Editions, 2005 73 pages, paperback.
It is astonishing that such a young poet is so aware of the ambiguities of string. From umbilicus to birthday wrapping to leash to apron string, Andrea McKenzie uses the emotional material at hand to present the ordinary and sometimes extraordinary experience of girls—rejection, love, cruelty and reconciliation —in neatly wrapped packages of loss and redemption. Already McKenzie has learned how to offer her poems as gifts for the world. Her last lines make magnificent bows: I said it back/ When this happens, remember your body and stay there/the cord gets tangled/a hand coming down upon her head. Her linked images are proverbs knotted on a string so that none of them may be lost on the journey from darkness to light. Most delightfully, McKenzie’s quest takes her directly from the intensely personal to the universal. Unlike those poets who circle themselves and get nowhere, she has already turned from self-healing to mending a broken world.