In this strong and vulnerable collection of poetry, the poet spins out a thoughtful imagery of innocence and culpability, for (and of) "the users and the abused". Salvation by imagination is the lifeline running throughout this chapbook - the imagination of other worlds, the worlds of one's own volition - from old baseball fields, to quicksilver waves, to the vast unjudging Milky Way, accompanied by Michelangelo's angel and Rodin's Cupid. These poems should be read in places where, as the poet puts it, "The Magic Was Missing From The Room", in places where one's "blood runs forsythia yellow", where the signature listeners are soldier-stiff Gapkids facing a tender bleakness. Jules Jacob inhabits a dichotomous world, and with delicate magnetism, draws us into it, in each poem.
— Dr. Harrison Solow. Harrison Solow is a Pushcart Prize winning writer, author and university professor. Her latest book is Felicity & Barbara Pym.
Jacob's poetry collection, The Glass Sponge, traces family moments in "Dream House" through the "...lazy moonlight" as the sound barrier is broken, warning us, Ozzy and Harriet have stepped out. A tenderness emerges through the fear and angst of family abuse with a compassionate eye and an intimate understanding of the toll abusers demand.
Family is defined with the clarity of the mother, the child, and the wife. In the poem, "Patterns," hopelessness emerges each day, each week, each year... "Step-mother sprawled/in the chair at night/watched TV, drank Long Island Tea/and stole the magic from the room./Father dozed on the couch/unaware it was missing...
Power is garnered from a subtle and elegant metaphor in, "Losing my Convictions." Pain, rebellion, revelation are swiftly detailed: "when my Achilles heel is screaming/I'll kick off your cause/and continue walking in my bare feet./"
Even in the midst of joy, peace is riddled with fear. In "Jellyfish Dance," Jacob's writes, "look at me, Mama./Dance like a jellyfish, Mama—/like me. Momentarily safe,/temporarily free."
Jacob courageously breaks the silence of abuse.
— Diane Smith, Founder and Editor of the Award Winning Journal Grey Sparrow published by Grey Sparrow Press: a 501C3 Corporation
Jules Jacob is a lyrical truth-teller in The Glass Sponge. Her poetry breaks silences, giving us more breathable air.
— Marilyn Kallet, Director, Creative Writing Program, University of Tennessee
Author of 15 books, including Packing Light: New and Selected Poems
The Glass Sponge merges imagination and hope with realities society skitters from—addiction, abuse, loss, neglect, and destruction of self, other people and their environments.
The original versions of "Dream House" and "Gone" lived in a college notebook until I introduced them to my computer in 2011. "Grandpa's Mill" was written in 1986 and first published in 1989. "L'Heure Bleue" was also scribbled in the old National Notebooks manufactured in Holyoke, Massachusetts. (The "blue hour" of twilight, with its touch of melancholy, remains my favorite time of day.)
The majority of poems in The Glass Sponge were written between 2010 and 2012. Many draw from personal and professional experience and are connected by an unplanned erasure of preconceived and often rote societal beliefs about addicts, abused and neglected women and children, good and bad mothers and families, and who is and isn't worthy of love.
Harrison Solow beautifully wrote, "Salvation by imagination is the lifeline running throughout this chapbook..." Hope is another lifeline; a non-discriminatory lifeline. She throws herself to the users and the used, the abusers and the bruised, the mighty and the strong, and even to those who don't want her.
Thank you for interest in The Glass Sponge.
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