“Every good-bye is a provocation, an invitation to witness an ending and claim it aloud.” ― Maureen E. Doallas, “Neruda’s Memoirs”
Percy Bysshe Shelley was right when he said that, “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” Despite our constant attempts to silence them, the truth of their words keeps shattering the boundaries of our limited understanding. Poets teach us invaluable lessons on pain, loss and recovery; as such, they affect society more deeply than any other artists ever would. Excellent examples are Elizabeth Bishop’s masterpiece, “One Art” and the novice book of Maureen E. Doallas.
“Neruda’s Memoirs” is more than a simple collection of poems. It is a study of the complexity of the human experience and an account of the healing, transformative role pure poetry has always played. Each piece is a masterfully crafted message in which words create resonating imagery and evoke tactile overtones.
Numerals on a forearm
do not shift with time
the way memory
unhinges with a drag
in the story’s telling
― “Pictures of Patience”
The collection is divided into four parts. Each one is introduced by a short autobiographical essay in which Doallas gives us access to the root of her creative process. Whether she writes on world events or expresses her grief at the loss of her dear brother, she never wallows in self-absorption. Rather, she invites us to open our hearts and let the healing of our own inner pain begin.
I will write peace on your wings
and you will fly all over the world.
I will fold one thousand cranes
and pay watchful waiting forward.
― “The Art of Japanese Paper Folding”
“Neruda’s Memoirs” is moving, meaningful and undeniably human. A model of what modern textbook poetry should be.
The book is available for purchase at Amazon.
About Maureen E. Doallas
Hailing from Arlington, Virginia, Maureen E. Doallas has been a features writer and editor for more than three decades. Several of her poems have appeared in anthologies, including the Gulf charity anthology “Oil and Water… and Other Things That Don’t Mix” (2010).
Doallas also owns a small business. Transformational Threads licenses images of original fine art that are reproduced in custom hand-embroidery in Vietnam.
For more information about her, visit writingwithoutpaper.blogspot.com.