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Book Review Flowers and thorns of Life Book Review Flowers and thorns of Life


BOOK REVIEW: Flowers and Thorns of Life. Book of Limerick Poet Margaret Mary Glasgow

Book Review: Flowers and Thorns of Life. Margaret writes from the heart and takes us on a journey through her life experiences. Moments easily identified by any woman in real life, which makes her writing quite special.  Book Review: Flowers and Thorns of Live Book Review: Flowers and Thorns of Live

BOOK REVIEW: Flowers and Thorns of Life. Book of Limerick Poet Margaret Mary Glasgow
By ilovelimerick correspondent Bruna Vaz Mattos 

Flowers and Thorns of Life – Flores et Spinae Vitae (Revival Press 2014) is the first collection of poems from Limerick poet Margaret Mary Glasgow. These poems by Margaret Mary Glasgow present her feelings, special love, and her life’s principles and values. But not only that, they bring us an insight into her spiritual and poetic life. The collection is dedicated to her parents, Margaret and Rian Glasgow, a sign of the importance of her family to her.

The book has five main striking figures, people whom Margaret dedicates her writing to Rian, her Dad, Margaret, her Mom, Aidan (her son), Michael (her fiancée) and Margit, her good friend who suffered from dementia. There are others too, such as her grandfather, Frank Glasgow, a former mayor of Limerick Mona Molloy, her teacher of English and History at Second Level who had a huge influence on developing Margaret’s love for the English Language, but they have a more discreet mention.

From the first page of the book, we see an old and lovely black and white photography: its Margaret as a child around her two years old and Rian (her Dad) sitting outside, playing together in the garden. A common scene between a father and his daughter, but very representative. Her father always carried a pen with him inside of the front pocket of his suit and at the moment the picture was taken Margaret was holding his pen, her destiny to be a writer was seemingly foretold. This photo means a lot, not only because it shows the importance of her family to her but it also invites us to reflect how briefly and fleetly life can be.

Margaret writes from the heart and takes us on a journey through her life experiences. Moments easily identified by any woman in real life, which makes her writing quite special. It’s definitively not only about love, family and happiness, its also about sadness, losses, and death. It is very touching the way she writes to her Mom revealing the most important moments of her life, we got seduced by the healing of the power of love between them.

“…I felt so lonely to leave You, when we had to part/ when love it came knocking, to capture my heart./ I know You felt empty on that day too, But You stood out, so beautifully, as I said I DO. / A few years down the road you extended me real care, / helping making the pains of pregnancy seem easier to bear. / That time it was so special, we shared more than just a name, / you put me on a pedestal, right in Your hall of fame...”

(To A Special Mother With Warm Wishes Of Love)

The different faces of maternity are personified in her Tribute to her son Aidan, and also the sun of her life. Several poems follow the boy´s life and the challenges of being a Mom.

 “You awake, the dawn is breaking, six thirty, early morn. / Young life it grasps the day with promise, as I sit up with a yawn. / Where will we go today, Mom, can I have a treat? / Will the sun come out to play Mam, when will it be time, now can I eat? / You know its Saturday I have no school, we have to get up quick. / Can I choose my favourite clothes to wear, let me have my pick?…

(A Mother’s Awakening At Dawn To A Precious Love)

At the end of the book, one of the poems reveals that now he is a grown man, which is quite fun to discover.

At a certain point for her life, before she gets married, her beloved fiancee Michael passed way and this causes an irreparable pain in Margaret’s heart, who now has to raise her son without the presence of his father. This sad episode is the theme of the first poem of the book, “Floral Caress” which is dedicated (as many others are) to Michael. Book Review: Flowers and Thorns of Life

“…Today I did not have the luxury of flowers to plant at your feet, / eventhough I’ve tilled the ground, dug out all the weeds only just last week. / For those last seven days I’ve prayed someone would send, / a floribunda of blossoms I’d meet cascading round bend. / I could visualize the truck and the driver laying flowers at the cemetery gate, / clothed with love’s warmth and affection, I’d spend countless hours in wait….”

(Floran Caress)

There are many sad and poignant moments in this book of poems, none more so than the poem “Margit”. It is written in memory of her great friend Margit, who suffered the aches and pains of dementia and whom Margaret nursed until her last days. It is the last poem in the book and it is full of human warmth and frailty and is how Margaret chooses to end her poetry collection.

“…I know not the language your tongue speaks, / ‘Ich spreche nicht deutsch’. / In my humanism I sense your aloneness, / elderly lady, fading lady. / Dementia robbing you of much of who you once were, / but my oiled hands stroke your aching knees. Brush your flyaway har from your eyes, / In empathy my touch may only land, / a second in your fading memory. / But I hope as stranger, / to new friendship your heart will blossom, / massaged and caressed by my love….”


Enjoy it! Book Review Flowers and Thorns of Live

For more info on Margaret Mary Glasgow, go here.

For more reviews, go here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.