The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood
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M.A.M.A. Issue 23: Jane Glennie and Sarah Ghoshal

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Jane Glennie and Sarah Ghoshal

Art by Jane Glennie

Container//contained 2012-2014

In psychoanalysis the container-contained notion, as introduced by Wilfred Bion, holds a neutral position, without judgement, that can be used as an approach to the analysis process. Reading texts through this position, from within the paradigm of motherhood, seems to be illuminating. It provides numerous ways of probing the question: ‘who is the container and who is the contained?’. How does the relationship between mother and child, mother and son, mother and daughter stand at any one discrete moment? What is the basis of the container at that moment? What is the emotion of the contained? The container can be actual, practical, or explicit. It can be metaphoric, emotional or implicit.

The complexity and variability of container-contained could, potentially, provide a framework to better understand and accommodate the complex and variable ‘emotional storm’ of minds (mother and child) that both ‘crave and resist’ each other. (Visit the link above for Glennie’s artwork).

 

Blur
by Sarah Ghoshal

They say you
block it all out:

no sleep, sore
hips, racecar
blowtorch wake
up heartburn,
tests, tests, tests,
feet hurt, slow
walk waddle,
timing, waiting,
talking to you
for hours and the
pain …

I haven’t forgotten.
You were a pot of acid
in my side, trying to escape
with tremendous effort,
announcing the future
in seconds.

Originally published in Mom Egg Review Vol. 15


Sarah Ghoshal is a poet, a mom, a professor and a runner. She has published two poetry chapbooks and her work can be found in such publications as Red Savina Review, Cream City Review, Reunion: The Dallas Review and Whale Road Review, among others. She lives in New Jersey with her happy little family and her faithful dog Comet, who flies through the air with the greatest of ease. You can learn more about her at www.sarahghoshal.com or find her on Twitter, @sarahghoshal.

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