Ingrid Andersson is a midwife and a poet and her debut poetry collection, Jordemoder, Poems of a Midwife will be released in April from Holy Cow! Press. Divided into sections: Daughter, Midwife, Mother, Immigrant, and Home, Andersson’s poems give voice to a life lived with open hands.
Some poems are born of heartache and despair; Ingrid Andersson’s poems are born of reverence and wonder. Whether she’s delivering a baby, traveling the world, or sitting in a garden, Andersson looks wide eyed at her subjects knowing that life is fragile and not one of us can predict the outcome, though we shouldn’t despair. Hope is not for the fainthearted.
Her opening poem, “Maw”, revisits the image of her mother listening to Verdi’s opera. As Violetta is revived by Alfredo’s love just before dying, her mother’s head lifts from her farm-woman’s hands, and Andersson understands that life turns on passion, as much as breath. It is this capability, this lesson learned at her mother’s elbow and reinforced at the dovetail of delivery, that makes Andersson’s tender poems linger. Memories of love and nature intermingle with a mother’s worries about gun control and global warming. How do we hold such disparate things in one hand? Perhaps the answer comes at the end of Andersson’s, “On Becoming a Midwife”:
WIth poems, poems that plumb
The sweet-salt-metal mess
To climax, over and over, howling love.
For the poets, dreamers, lovers, and believers, I recommend Jordemoder: Poems of a Midwife by Ingrid Andersson.
This is Lin Salisbury with Superior Reviews. Listen to author interviews and book reviews on WTIP Radio, 90.7 Grand Marais, Minnesota.