In this bilingual autobiographical collection, the poet celebrates different kinds of survival: the Holocaust; displacement; breast cancer. Through poetry, she has been able to transform these experiences, to make peace with them. That ‘wakefulness’ which is the legacy of ever-present danger is also a source of inspiration. Nevertheless, the poems sound a warning to those who overestimate the resilience of children: these early experiences of trauma will never be erased.
Understated, sparse, ironic, the poetry avoids sentimentality. The bilingual presentation adds a new and rich dimension. ‘Elliott-Kleerkoper’s work has, for me, always had a deeply bewitching calm surface over dark water. This collection reaches all the way down and raises us up, dripping, into the light.’ Ian McBryde