Reviewed by Amber Tamblyn

The Bigger World


By Noelle Kocot


(Wave Books)

Noelle Kocot’s 2006 book Poem For The End Of Time and Others Poems—a collection about the death of her husband and the subsequent burning cyclone of grief that followed—contains some of the most painful and powerful verses ever unearthed on the subject. But today, Kocot is looking at The Bigger World (Wave Books) and telling the dark, triumphant, and often surreally imagined stories of others. In the opening poem, “God Bless the Child,” Kocot introduces us to a woman who has always hated children until the day she finds herself pregnant and gives birth to a full-grown man. Later, when she weeps after seeing children playing and asks her man/son if that’s what she’s been avoiding all these years, he replies, “Mother, I do believe that you never/Once let me be a child,/But I forgive you, seeing as how you/Were never really a child yourself.” Kocot’s ability to assemble the fragments of people’s disintegrating lives is what makes these prose poems magnificent. The people in The Bigger World are helium ghosts lifting Kocot into a personal freedom and the poems are her hand extending down, asking us to rise with her.

Image courtesy of Wave Poetry