Elana Bell

Mother Country

Mother Country examines the intricacies of mother–daughter relationships: what we inherit from our mothers, what we let go, what we hold, and what we pass on to our own children, both the visible and invisible.

As the speaker gradually loses the mother she has always known and upon whom she has always depended to early onset Parkinson’s disease and mental illness, she asks herself: “How do you deal with the grief of losing someone who is still living?” The caregiving of a child to her parent is further compounded by anxiety and depression, as well as the pain of a miscarriage and the struggle to conceive once more. Her journey comes full circle when the speaker gives birth to a son and discovers the gap between the myths of motherhood and a far more nuanced reality.
37 printed pages
Original publication


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    Mother country : poems / by Elana Bell.
    Description: First edition. | Rochester, NY : BOA Editions, LTD., 2020. | Series: American poets continuum series ; no. 183 | Summary: “Elana Bell’s tender poems about motherhood, caregiving, mental illness, longing, infertility, childbirth, and renewal reveal the intricacies of mother-child relationships” —

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