Narrow Bridge

December 6, 2020
Narrow Bridge

"All the world is a narrow bridge," states Rabbi Nachman ofBresnov. "The important thing is not to be afraid at all." Thesepoems, Barbara Pelman's third collection, explore bridges both realand metaphoric: the bridge connecting Denmark to Sweden where herfamily lives; the bridges she has travelled across Europe; and thebridges we build through words and actions to overcome ourseparateness from one another. The poet writes about lovers,mothers, daughters, ex-husbands, grandchildren, and her attempts toconstruct solid foundations for the heart to travel across time andspace. Pelman writes of her love of landscapes and the things inthem, as well as the everyday epiphanies that happen in one'sbackyard. These are poems that explore the tension between livingin one place but wanting to be in another, the losses and freedomscontained in solitude, the process of learning to age gracefully.The act of writing, Pelman says, is itself a talisman against fear,a mantra of boldness and courage to live con spirito.