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birds are calling, Elov! Elov!

by Roberta Visser

Illustrations by Rachel Halper

These poems let you explore what it means to belong. In this book Roberta Visser speaks to her new grandson, Ezra, meditating on meaning, belonging, and uncertainties of faith. At times she asks about the mystical, and at others tells him playful stories. Interwoven are poems reflecting on nature, the unknowable path he will take and the legacy of her parents who prepared for her family’s visits and welcomed her children, “as if with their breath … that Ezra, is the dust of stars, implanted in code, and passed from generation to generation not so much out of need, but out of desire.”

“In tender, exquisite poems addressed to her small grandson, Ezra, Roberta Visser captures the essence of what it means to be a grandmother. The poems depict her joy at her relationship with the child even before he can speak, giving him her stories, her love, her Jewish heritage, her hopes for his life. And through these words she becomes for him ‘a repository of memory,’ as if God had commanded her ‘to act as translator of what has come before.’ These beautiful necessary poems are both legacy and spiritual quest.”
— Patricia Fargnoli, author of Winter, Hobblebush Books