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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
A Tide Should Be Able to Rise Despite Its Moon by Jessica Bell is a collection of original poetry that revolves around the different forms and experiences of motherhood. The title is woven into one of the poems and is fitting in the context of the book's content. Bell harnesses an independent spirit in the verses even when in a partnership, be it mother to son, a woman to a body she no longer recognizes, or a tree rooted in cement instead of earth, without diminishing the role of oneself. Each varies in length, tone, and tenor. The individual pieces are untitled as Bell lets her work do all the talking without giving it a label.
Jessica Bell is a gifted poet. The layers of meaning that weave through A Tide Should Be Able to Rise Despite Its Moon dance in a partnership of analogies and metaphors. The danger of falling into cliché traps is so commonplace in poetry today that it's almost surreal when I come across a compilation without a single hint of one. The majority of the poems are a reflection of the slices of life with her son that Bell reimagines and turns into stanzas. The weightier work is balanced by moments of levity, but even the smaller pieces are profoundly honest and thought-provoking. One particular poem stood out to me with Bell asking and answering, “How long does it take to live in the moment? One second.” Overall, this is a gorgeous collection. Very highly recommended.