No Small Gift
Centered on the theme of regaining a voice, the collection manifests poetry’s power to distill meaning from the chaos of trauma.
Grave illness, profound disability, and stunning cruelty and betrayal are Franklin’s catalysts in No Small Gift: turning the chaos of her trauma into meaning, rediscovering a voice embedded under sutures and scars, making a whole from rent parts. Unflinching biographical details intersect with fictional and historical figures–the mythological personae of Philomela and Lavinia, Vermeer’s tronies and Rodin’s lovers, children killed in the Nazi’s euthanasia program, and other mute victims of abuse and neglect and eyewitness to horror–to animate a collection that proves “every song of grief is still song.”
“First Love” from No Small Gift
The boy beside me is not you but he is familiar in all the important ways. I pass through life finding you over and over again— oppress you with love. And every surrogate? Afflicted by my kindness, they leave me with my music. I loved you before I ever loved you.