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Three Women: A Poetic Triptych and Selected Poems by Emma Eden Ramos

Three Women: A Poetic Triptych and Selected Poems by Emma Eden Ramos, published by Heavy Hands Ink this year (it is eligible for the Indie Lit Awards), is primarily a series of poems about British-American psychotherapist Annette, her daughter Julia, and a Croatian immigrant, Milena.  Ramos uses the idea of the Triptych beautifully here, in which the poems about or told from Julia and Milena’s points of view are hinged on the poems told from Annette’s point of view.  Moreover, the poems from Julia and Milena’s points of view are used to flesh out the larger story of Annette and her grief, establishing not only the entrapment of “troubles” or suicidal feelings felt by the victims, but also the sense of enormous loss and emptiness felt by the surviving family members.  The message is the goal, and it is not bogged down by overly “pretty” or gruesome language.

From Fold One: Introductions in “Annette” (page 5), “I am a beautiful woman, perhaps the most beautiful/I’ve seen/But the exterior, she perjures herself like an unruly/teen.”  The first line of comparison is drawn when the poet takes the reader from this image of a beautiful woman whose exterior is deceiving to her daughter’s introduction, a young woman as troubled as her dead brother and her mother.  The line is further drawn to include Milena, who now feels out of place in her adopted home, America, since her father passed into a world of rest.  This unrest establishes the foundation upon which Ramos builds the Triptych or the links between these women.

On the surface, it is easy to see the connections between a mother grieving for her lost son and Milena grieving for her lost father.  Julia, it appears, is on the outside looking in because she does not believe her mother “sees” her through the grief, which gives her permission to be suicidal.  The connection Julia sees between her mother and her deceased brother are more than she can reconcile, especially when she too lost someone she loved.  It is not until the final panel is revealed — Fold Three: Connections — that the whole picture is revealed.  There is a melding here of these women, a verbal acknowledgment that they are the same.  However, what separates them is how they tackle the aftermath of suicide.

The other selected poems in the work are not as strong, unfortunately, but Emma Eden Ramos’ conversational style is maintained in the final poems.  Moreover, the stories in the final poems are so different that the collection would have been better served by further introspection by the three main women in the beginning set.  Two of the final poems are focused on body image and religion, but one of the poems maintains the examination of suicide, though in a more cryptic, less direct way.

Three Women: A Poetic Triptych and Selected Poems is a unique chapbook from a young poet, Emma Eden Ramos, that demonstrates a personable style that can reach out to readers and draw them into the story.

Please check out one of the best poems in the collection at the Virtual Poetry Circle.

About the Poet:

Emma Eden Ramos is a twenty-four year old writer from New York City. She has had short stories published in literary journals such as BlazeVOX Journal, The Legendary, The Citron Review, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Stories for children Magazine, and The StoryTeller Tymes.

Her poetry has appeared in Calliope Nerve, Ink Sweat & Tears, and Children, Churches and Daddies Magazine. Emma’s novelette, Where the Children Play, was published in the Spring 2010 issue of BlazeVOX Journal. Three Women: A Poetic Triptych and Selected Poems is Emma’s first collection of poems. At present, Emma is writing a middle-grade novelette. She will be a student at Brooklyn College in the spring. Connect with her on GoodReads.

This is my 27th book for the Fearless Poetry Exploration Reading Challenge.

 

This is my 64th book for the 2011 New Authors Reading Challenge.

  • James Eisenstein

    Felt almost like a play through verse. I wonder what this young woman’s background is. I’m assuming she’s Croatian or has some ties to that country. Why those characters? Would make an interesting interview.

    • I agree there was a play-like quality to the triptych. I liked that aspect. I know that Emma is a student….I’m not sure if she is Croatian or not.

  • I think I really should check out this book. It sounds good. I’ve been reading way too few poetry books. Gotta balance my prose – poetry reading fare. 🙂

    • Evangeline: This book is stunning the Triptych is very well done. I enjoyed this one a lot…very different from some other contemporary collections I’ve read this year.

  • Harvee

    I was moved by the grief and the tragedy in the families when I read her poetry. I only wished there had been more poems and that the tryptich had been longer.

    • I agree. I would have liked a longer triptych.

  • I like the idea that this set of poems sort of tells a story. Sounds like it falls apart a bit in the end, but I still wouldn’t mind giving it a try since I like poetry in the conversational style.

    • It doesn’t necessarily fall apart…I just think that the selected poems could have been different. I’d have given it 5 stars if all the poems worked as a collection…I would even say it would work better as a collection if the “selected poems” were just not there.