Melancholy Ain't No Baby
Julie Rekai Rickerd is a Toronto broadcaster and public relations
Patricia Young’s second volume of poetry, Melancholy Ain’t No Baby, is a refreshingly brisk collection of short, “snappy” selections devoted to everyday matters of the soul.
The poems, divided into two sections, deal with “motherhood issues,” such as parental love of and for a child, the horror of a parent faced with the guilt of a child’s accidental fall, and the adult’s wistful longing to be a child again. The poems later address women’s drudgery, albeit cheerfully executed, in the home, so-called household duties, women’s melancholia and their eventual desire for freedom from all responsibility and restriction. This desire to flee is effectively juxtaposed with women’s need for giving and receiving love and their instinct to nurture.
Young’s style is touching and moving in its clarity and simplicity. She seeks the spiritual meanings of mundane, repetitive, daily occurrences. She pays serious attention to minute detail and chooses
her appropriate imagery with great care. Her gentle, caring words often ignite an underlying layer of anger and violence. Strong, vivid emotions are conveyed through a gauze of humorous irony.
Young illuminates and confronts the inner emotions and turmoil that lurk beneath daily realities in a salutary manner. She conveys a cleansing effect as she resolves a variety of inner problems and fears. The reader is invited to share in Young’s feelings, identify with them, and feel the better for it; a most rewarding experience.