Narrow Bridge

Narrow Bridge_FC

Narrow Bridge

by Barbara Pelman


    • September 2017
    • print ISBN: 978-1-55380-508-3
    • e-book ISBN: 978-1-55380-509-0
    • pdf ISBN: 978-1-55380-510-6
    • 6″ x 9″ Trade paper, 100 pages
    • Poetry


“All the world is a narrow bridge,” states Rabbi Nachman of Bresnov. “The important thing is not to be afraid at all.” These poems, Barbara Pelman’s third collection, explore bridges both real and metaphoric: the bridge connecting Denmark to Sweden where her family lives; the bridges she has travelled across Europe; and the bridges we build through words and actions to overcome our separateness from one another. The poet writes about lovers, mothers, daughters, ex-husbands, grandchildren, and her attempts to construct solid foundations for the heart to travel across time and space. Pelman writes of her love of landscapes and the things in them, as well as the everyday epiphanies that happen in one’s backyard. These are poems that explore the tension between living in one place but wanting to be in another, the losses and freedoms contained 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.

“Barbara Pelman’s third collection of poetry is indeed a bridge, word after delightful word, a passageway into the human heart, the longing that lies there — in wait. Read Narrow Bridge for its tenderness, and read it for its darkness too.”
—Arleen Paré, Governor General’s winner for Lake of Two Mountains

“These poems convey stillness, grace and such salt my tongue tastes it. Hands here are empty or they are heavy with what they carry, they are wild. That wildness wonders what people think, indeed what we ourselves think, of our lives.”
—Yvonne Blomer, City of Victoria Poet Laureate