The Grief Almanac: A Sequel
The Grief Almanac is rich, brilliant, with a kind of texturing that feels to me like complex symphonic music. This is not a collection of poems in any conventional sense. It is the sustained work of immense, far-reaching intellect…Manasiadis swoops with dazzling control and at great speed from a New Zealand world of city street or bush to legends which the English speaking world has taken on as theirs but which this work reminds us, are profoundly, essentially Greek, and belong in that landscape with a power they have to lose in translation.
Vana is the elegist, is the woman who has always chanted her grief at the graveside. She is the woman gifted with words in two languages to write about a woman who emigrated from Greece, raised her daughters, one of the unsung. With her words and the full force of her mind and heart she lifts her mother up to the light where we can see her. We see the mother and we see the daughter and the primal truth that lies at the heart of the tragedies and myths that have endured for centuries because they are profoundly true. We feel the umbilical twist, the blow to the heart, the soaring uplift to the human spirit – that is the impact of great poetry.
- Fiona Farrell
This is archaeology, composition, fracture, connection…I am reminded that poetry never stands still, that a poem sends you to and fro, inside a poem, between poems. And that is what is happening here. I am on the move. I cannot settle. I am finding the home anchor, the slow build of physical detail…Yet for all this movement, for all this electric searching, The Grief Almanac has a white hot core, a fiercely beating heart.
- Paula Green