Bluewords Greening by Christine Stewart-Nuñez
Published by Terrapin Books
Published 2 September 2016
I was given a copy of the book by the publisher and voluntarily reviewed it.
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
Bluewords Greening is a book about motherhood–love and family and fear and failure and mini-ninjas. We observe a mother’s bewildering experiences with her son as the poems detail his diagnosis with a rare form of epilepsy and the “bluewords” that result from his aphasia. The speaker is in deep conversation with the son’s frustrated and often surprisingly beautiful lexicon; she’s also in conversation with the work of contemporary visual artists and the craft of printmaking and the twelfth-century visionary, St. Hildegard. Stewart-NuNez’s music and skilled syntax and stubborn insistence on the beauty of the world–even as the poems explore the heartbreak of recurrent miscarriage–keep the reader rapt and grateful and illuminated. Bluewords Greening is a marvellous book.
Beth Ann Fennelly, Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother
From Signing 101
Pay attention, she says, to relationships –
How the hands convey meaning in degrees
Of proximity to the body…
WHAT I THOUGHT
I’ve never read this poet before. I thought this was a great collection of poems. Like me, Stewart-Nuñez writes poems to explore her own experiences and fears, in this case her son’s rare form of epilepsy and how this affects him and the rest of the family. The poems in Bluewords Greening were personal, intimate, painful and incredibly sad at times. I really felt the poet’s pain, confusion and at times sense of loss as she and her son adjust to his condition and the side effects of his aphasia. I enjoyed the poems Temporary Innocence, Portraits before Epileptic Aphasia, That Sticky Tango, Tentative Pregnancy and Verge the most. The other poems are great but these spoke to me a little bit more. Bluewords Greening is a great, enjoyable collection and I’d highly recommend it.