From silly to somber, this collection of poems tells us how Grandma dies when she goes from planting the daisies to pushing them up. Ma Bones and Nick Dunkenstein set out to tackle the taboo subject of death. They wanted to make a complicated topic approachable through the whimsical and the macabre. While the title might seem jarring, it is also arresting. The word "Dead," free of euphemism, conveys finality.
The book attempts to tackle death in three of its forms: absurd, lonely, and peaceful. Each poem acts as a miniature story with a "set-up" in the first stanza, while the last stanza is the "take-away." Form and structure aid the consistency of the collection, while the content of each poem is always unique. Utilizing this format, the creators craft a dialogue about death. This conversation opens up the possibility of an expression of thoughts and feelings, in regards to the subject of bereavement.
Why Grandma? Because grandmothers are the hearth and heart of a home. They rear and raise a family. When we lose a grandmother, we lose a companion and mentor, but hopefully, through loss, we gain the inheritance of their wisdom and spirit. From a modern Rock Gran, who passes when struck down by lighting, to a Grandma who sits alone waiting on her family which never arrives for a holiday feast only to wither away alone in "Home," these poems open the dialogue about death while going on to explore our relationship as a society with the elderly.
Overall, this collection opens our minds. It provides a cause for conversation, allowing us to explore our feelings, as it teaches us to be aware of the ailments that afflict our elders and appreciate their personalities and unique histories.
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