Goodbye, Silver Sister, Jeanne Foster’s second collection of poems, opens with a series of poems about a girl coming of age in pre-Katrina New Orleans, informed and haunted by the magic of the city. The powerful Pearl River forms the dividing line between adulthood and other worlds, both geographic and existential: “death, divorce, and the thousand other ways I would lose faith in the breastplate of love.”
The collection is also an elegy for and tribute to the poet’s parents, who met in the WPA Artists’ Project. Through her poems she keeps them alive and is also able to say good-bye. Like the work of her mentor, James Wright, these poems reach far beyond the personal in their willingness to look at the unseemly sides of being human within the context of a profound spiritual search.