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Call Home by Judy Wells

ISBN10: 0967022479
ISBN13: 978-0967022475
Author: Judy Wells
Book title: Call Home
Publisher: Scarlet Tanager Books (January 1, 2006)
Language: English
Category: Humanities
Size PDF: 1263 kb
Size ePub: 1901 kb
Size Fb2: 1560 kb
Rating: 4.1/5
Votes: 225
Pages: 92 pages

Call Home by Judy Wells

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Poetry. "The comic genius of Judy Wells takes a serious turn in CALL HOME. Ninety-two-year-old Irene announces to her children that she is dying, and so the wake begins with the waggish matriarch in full attendance. In thirty-two poetic vignettes, Judy Wells tells the story of an Irish-American mother who has endowed her clan with a sense of drama and high humor that will prepare them to negotiate the pitfalls of property inheritance and re-negotiate what it means to be a family after the funeral. CALL HOME tells a deeply touching tale with universal relevance"--Bridget Connelly. But, "if this sounds like a downer, it isn't. Judy Wells' deep love for her family and the enduring 'rock' of her childhood keep her book alive with sentiment and gentle humor."--Jack Foley. Be sure to check out Wells' EVERYTHING IRISH, also available from SPD.


These poems - - nostalgic, bittersweet, yet humorous - - evoke such sympathetic memories of my own family, my own mother's passing away, I couldn't put it down until finished cover to cover.


(Oh mother dear, I miss you like never before)

Where are your warm hugs?
Have they cracked and wilted in your empty arms

Where are your sweet smiles?
Have they dried and shriveled on your cold lips

Where are your funny jokes?
Have they turned to dust and lay at your feet
To whom will comfort me?
To whom will dry my tears?
To whom will I lay my head,
When no one else is near?

(Oh mother dear, I need you more than ever)

Where have you been?
Have you finally been laid to rest

Where are you now?
Are you flying high with the angels?
Are you down in the deep dark well?

Call Me Sonya Grey: A Young Girl's Poems about Death, Life and Adolescence

Most people will, sooner or later, have the unsettling experience of disposing of the belongings of someone who was very near and dear to them. This experience is intensely personal, but touches what is universal and enduring in the human heart.

Judy Wells collection, Call Home, relates the emotions associated with re-establishing our connections with childhood; how we looked at things, and the ways this makes us what we are.

My favorite, among favorites, is titled 899 Willow, both for its poetic impact, as well as its masterful use of language. Beginning with the narrative voice of a child and ending with that of a mature woman - a sure-handed, artistic expression of persisting time.

Judy Wells is a marvelous poet, and a master storyteller.

I read this volume on an airplane, and it was a delight. At times, I laughed out loud, as on the last line of "Shoot me." At times I cried with the evocation of parents passing on and left behind objects bringing memories. At times it made the hair stand up on my arms. Much of this resonates with growing up with parents with different religions and dealing with sibling rivalries. I loved the plays on words, such as "L'Etrangere" putting Camus' alienated anti hero in the femnine. I found the poems a pleasure to read. I identified with the feelings and and themes. The poems are also a pleasure to read out loud.

Judy Wells' most recent book of poems, Call Home, transported me back into my own childhood. I read the poems in one sitting, in spite of stacks of papers to correct and a short story I had been working on. She captured the old tensions and unbearable yearning for a mother now gone. Since I have recently begun sorting through my own mothers' belongings in an effort to help her ready for an eventual move, I recognized that these objects revive events in our own lives, landmarks of passage. In simple prose, she communicated a yearning, not only for her own mother, but for what might have been in our own lives. Her book is a gift to us.

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Judy Wells' Call Home is a series of poems that make a story, and it's a page-turner. All the particulars make it alive; but it's also the story of us all-- or of very many of us, anyway. It's about re-connecting with family, and about dealing with loss, all at once.