Review: The Couple who Fell to Earth by Michelle Bitting

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Review: The Couple who Fell to Earth by Michelle Bitting

Post by truebookaddict » 13 Jul 2016, 16:25

This is a moving book of poetry. I found myself immersed in many of the poems. Although I couldn't much relate to the wife/love side of things (I've sort of renounced romance/true love over the past several years...cynical, I know), I very much related to the poems about family and motherhood.

This poem about the importance of family is one of my favorites...


The one with big and small diamonds
on my left ring finger
belonged to Grandma
everybody comments on it
quite stunning
and kind of ugly, too
the way a grandma ring can be
a bit clunky and overwrought
the gems have a story
the grubby tiny ones
from their original engagement
on the California coast
north of Malibu
that place where two giant rocks
come to a head
and the surf tumbles around
the gods inside
at war with each other
he said, I love you, Doll
he said that
and how could she not answer?
all they had
this thing they were making up
other stones came
from a wedding band
one for each anniversary
(their 25th, their 50th)
the large "bling" jewels
you could say
and all of it
deconstructed, reconstructed
like marriage goes
bound up
in one crazy sculpture
when she died
he gave it to me
we stood in the blue bedroom
where she took the last terrible gasps
sailed off
on a sea of silent dreams
he opened the drawer and said
Seventy five years, seventy-five years
I don't know what I'll do
without her
and pressed the ring
into my palm
all that preciousness
my grandpa never talked much
until she got sick
and then I visited regularly
though she hardly knew me anymore
he was glad for the company
and the words tumbled out
now I come all the time
we sit in his backyard
talking about birds
about his roses
he tends with such care
and the bright red feeder
swinging over our heads
glitters in the sun
its perfect geometry
sugar and water mixed
for the hummingbirds
the moment they sip
so sweet they can't resist
coming back for more

Such a touching poem of familial legacy and love. Beautiful.

This next one speaks to me of motherhood, of wanting the best for your child, and your heart breaking over the rejection they might inevitably receive. We mothers with our unconditional love for them...sometimes we can't quite grasp the thought of everyone not loving them as we do. Side note: A holiday, Valentine's Day, which I hate, that can make someone painfully aware of their aloneness and of being rejected, especially for adolescents.


The ides of February are brutal,
Love's sticky sentiments
gumming up the air
make it harder
to breathe. Gilded truffles
snug in their cellophane tombs
dare you to pluck them
from underneath
and eat. Hearts dangle
in pharmacy windows
pretending to pump real red.
Brutal for a boy who feels
but won't say
what it is to be sixteen
and never one secret admirer,
never a glitter doily
or silver Hallmark
waxed with lipstick's
smoky kisses. What ghost
can this mother conjure?
What diaphanous caress?
When in Rome
and if long ago, I could run
naked through alley ways,
my breasts swinging
like fevered trolls,
like devil bells bared,
tolling resident evil. I could
don a goat-skin cap,
carry my pot
of flames to the desert,
burn salted meal-cakes
with vestal virgins
and raise them
to the stars,
to dead crows
and broken Caesars. But
it wouldn't change the fact
of his incomplete beauty,
how girls turn away
when he opens his mouth to speak
a sound less than smart.
Won't change the fact
of his gawky bust
and uncommon sense,
an art far too wild
and no longer cradled
in the cave of a darkened living room,
where once we rocked
and he suckled, at times, stopped
to let glide
the nipple from his mouth
and look up at me,
just look at me...
his future,
his mother
and unconditional lover,
his only Valentine.

Yup, this one had me in tears. Mothers will understand.

Moving, poignant, illuminating. Words I would use to describe this wonderful book of poetry.
Fine old Christmas, with the snowy hair and ruddy face, had done his duty that year in the noblest fashion, and had set off his rich gifts of warmth and color with all the heightening contrast of frost and snow.
~George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss

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Post by h289y » 13 Dec 2017, 10:22

Both of these poems are quite touching. Full of love, legacy and more love. Love it.

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Post by slimdagal » 26 Dec 2017, 15:18

first one was lovely !

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Post by BookHausJ » 07 Jan 2018, 04:36

I wanna hear someone reciting this poem lively. Expressing with deep emotion. Because inspiration comes from within. Hope I can read this book too! Thanks!
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Post by Divi Matthew » 11 May 2018, 02:05

Touching and lovely.

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Post by topdan30 » 07 Sep 2018, 09:40

Voicing out this poem will be lovely and enjoyable.

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