In due season: poems of love and loss by Valerie Volk is a very special book. It is beautifully presented with delightful photographs illustrating many of the poems.
While it it is a slim book physically, one cannot say that about the poems. All the poems have an impact on the reader. One is taken on a journey through her life – of joys, delights, deep emotions, frustrations, fears and faith. It is a journey from first love to deep loss, from deep contentment to the emptiness of death.
Valerie’s poems poignantly trace the roller coaster ride she encounters in 2008 when her husband is diagnosed with cancer. Some poems hark back to the early days, from their first meeting, first passions of love and the demands of young family life. Other poems are filled with agony as she sketches in verse form the deterioration of Noel’s condition. And the final poems highlight her response to his death, the experience of feeling numb at the time of his funeral, the emptiness of their home without her love and the slow and sometimes painful climb up the mountain of normality.
‘How am I?
Hard to say. I veer between
a stoic resignation – “Wonderful,” I hear them say –
and silent screams of anguish.
Somewhere in me there’s a deep gaping hole
as if a vital part has been ripped out.’
from ‘A Kindness of Strangers’ p.59
I met Valerie during the time we were both completing our Master of Arts course. She has become a respected writing colleague and encouraging friend, one I deeply admire and whose comments on my own poems are highly valued.
Some of the poems in this volume I have a personal connection with, because Valerie presented them in writing workshops for critiquing during our studies for our degrees. One couldn’t help but be touched deeply by the grief she was enduring at the time but still she pressed on professionally.
Highly recommended reading.
Order the book on Valerie’s web site:
- Valerie Volk – you can order any of Valerie’s books on her website. You can also read about Valerie’s academic achievements as well as writing awards she has gained.
The photo (above right) is from the cover of her book. It has deep significance to Valerie – but you’ll have to read the book to find out why.
Volk, Valerie, 2009. In due season: poems of love and loss. Pantaenus Press, Adelaide.