Narrow Bridge

By (author): Barbara Pelman

Lyric poems that are open to readers; Strong imagery; Poems that describe the need to build “bridges” between people; Interesting accounts of a single woman in Italy; The difficulties involved in learning to age gracefully; The act of writing as a means of living with courage in crossing the narrow bridge of life. COMPARATIVE TITLES: The Road in Is Not the Same Road Out by Karen Solie (Anansi, 2015); The Wrong Cat by Lorna Crozier (McClelland & Stewart, 2015); The Waking Comes Late by Steven Heighton (Anansi, 2015).
“All the world is a narrow bridge,” states Rabbi Nachman of Bresnov. “The important thing is not to be afraid at all.” These poems, Barbara Pelman’s third collection, explore bridges both real and metaphoric: the bridge connecting Denmark to Sweden where her family lives; the bridges she has travelled across Europe; and the bridges we build through words and actions to overcome our separateness from one another. The poet writes about lovers, mothers, daughters, ex-husbands, grandchildren, and her attempts to construct solid foundations for the heart to travel easily across time and space. Pelman writes of her love of landscapes and the things in them, and the everyday epiphanies that happen in one’s backyard. These are poems that explore the tension between living in one place but wanting to be in another, the losses and freedoms contained in solitude, the process of learning to age gracefully. The act of writing, Pelman says, is itself a talisman against fear, a mantra of boldness and courage to live con spirito.


Barbara Pelman

Barbara Pelman has an MA in Literature from the University of Toronto, and lives in Victoria, BC. She has taught high school and university English courses for three decades and is now retired. She has three books of poetry: One Stone (Ekstasis Editions, 2005), Borrowed Rooms (Ronsdale Press, 2008) and Narrow Bridge (Ronsdale Press, 2017), and a chapbook Aubade Amalfi (Rubicon Press, 2016). Many of her poems have been published in literary journals and anthologies, and her glosa, “Nevertheless,” won the Malahat Review Poetry Contest in 2018. She is an active member of Victoria’s vibrant poetry community, assisting at Planet Earth Poetry and conducting workshops. She is also a frequent traveller to Vancouver to visit her mother, and her daughter and grandson.


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92 Pages
9in * 6in * .27in


September 30, 2017


Ronsdale Press



Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

Featured In:

Women Poets



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