Mothers Over Nangarhar...presents readers with the inadequacy of language to describe war in the lives of individuals; specifically, individuals whose loved ones are serving in the military ... Yet for all that language cannot express, through the various speakers of these poems, Hart utilizes strong verbs to express the action that can be taken even when words fail ... While verbs activate movement and direction for the speakers within these poems, Hart also utilizes verbs to express absence, and the effects of war on both soldiers and their family members ... Though language cannot encompass the enormity of war’s influence, it can still bring us as close as possible to expressing the inexpressible. This Hart does masterfully through an array of voices, all of whom echo and reecho what it means to survive and communicate war.
Though the canon abounds with war poets...fewer describe the complexities of the home front. Pamela Hart works to correct this by telling the stories, including her own, of the parents, spouses, and children of those who serve ... Hart writes...with unwavering humanity. Though some of the poems on their own might read as slight, when taken together they form a necessary counter-narrative to the war story we’re often told, dismantling what Wilfred Owen called 'the old lie: Dulce et decorum est / Pro patria mori': It is sweet and proper to die for one’s country.
In her debut poetry collection, Hart brings a new, salient voice to the home front in times of war. Beginning with the love of a mother for her child, she draws a clear and distinct line between the news we hear and how it makes us feel ... Hart’s poetry is an attempt to reason through the world’s chaos ... Hart’s finely crafted poems may help readers do just that.
Rich with literary, political, and geographical references, Hart’s debut collection details the journey of a mother whose son is serving in Afghanistan ... Hart’s drive to keep looking and listening while 'the long war goes on' reads like a fundamental act of compassion.