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Letters to My Mother and other mothers

Letters to My Mother and other mothers

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The first section comprises poems dedicated to Fraser’s late mother as she highlights the universality of losing a loved one. The poems in the second section take on different voices. A son, who has killed and raped, asks his mother if she will still love him when she learns of his deeds. Hinduism’s feminine divine questions the Indian society which worship her as their Mother while they hurt and abuse her daughters. With the poems highlighting situations in which they are much needed, the book illustrates the importance of love and empathy.
Title Letters to My Mother and other mothers
Author Bashabi Fraser
ISBN 9781910745144
Binding Paperback
Author Bio BASHABI FRASER is a critic, poet, editor, children’s writer and translator. She was born in West Bengal in India. Bashabi divides her life between the two countries she loves most – India and Britain. Professor of English Literature at Edinburgh Napier University, she is the winner of Rabindra Bharati Society Honour 2014, Women Empowered: Art and Culture Award 2010 and IAS Prize for Literary Services in Scotland 2009. She has written for many publications, has three other collections of poems in print and has been included in a number of anthologies. Bashabi has also written children’s stories as well as a shadow puppet play and a book on the Bengal Partition and is also a classical Indian dancer and choreographer. She now lives in Edinburgh with her husband and has one daughter.
Back Cover Text They forego promotion and pay packets.
They stay at home. They are night watchers
Who feed and rock and calm to sleep
They tie their precious gifts to their back
Or stagger in tired pride, pushing our future
They are the bravest soldiers – marching on.
– Mothers All

How does our relationship with our mothers shape the people we become? Does the experience of motherhood change us?

Bashabi Fraser commemorates her mother and the conversations they would have together. Exploring themes of motherhood, empowerment, love and loss, the acclaimed poet draws on her Indian and British life experience, engaging with hard-hitting current issues such as climate change, war and the prevalence of violence against women worldwide.

A son questions his mother’s love after she has learned about his violent deeds. The biblical Eve is shown as a liberator. A daughter of India demands justice from her society. Fraser’s poetry is powerful and passionate as she contemplates the experience of motherhood and celebrates the life of her own mother and that of other mothers.
Table of Contents Contents
Acknowledgements 8
Introduction 9

Letters to My Mother
I saw you last night 17
The things you did for us 18
I will remember you 19
If I could bring you back 20
The boy from Chittagong 21
Thundering hooves 22
The flower thieves 23
The hesitant flowers 24
In London where you were 25
St George’s Hospital 26
The speeding car 27
The planned journey 28
A confluence 29
A presence in absence 30
Frozen frolic 31
An Icelandic Saga: i 32
An Icelandic Saga: ii 33
Climate refugees 34
As Europe debates Turkey’s entry 36
Japan’s triple jeopardy 37
The British barricade of snow 38
Nero’s Guests 39
Camp Hope 40
Liu Xiaobo 42
Arab Spring 44
Arab Women 45
St Augustine’s Church 47
Medical Aid for Palestine 48
Women vote in Jalalabad 50
Darkling I listen 51
Anoushka in Usher Hall 53
Your granddaughter in London 54

Interlude
She was my mother 56

Letters to Other Mothers
Mothers All 59
Brazenly – in cafes 60
You cannot silence me 61
Abandoned: i 62
Restored: ii 63
Urban Gothic: London during World War II 64
Eve: the liberator 65
She 66
My Aunt Marge 72
My Monimashi 74
Shamsad Rahim 78
A breaker 79
The Song of a Gypsy 80
Living Joy 82
Laure 85
Who was the boy? 86
Will you remember me? 88
Awakening 91
Light where the sun sets 93
Light a candle for me 95
I am your daughter 98
Rupsha 101
For Nisha and Ben on your wedding day 103
To Tithi on your wedding day 106
Mariam 108
Bhopal now 110
I am that child 111
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