Thursday, June 9, 2011
Gilman had a vision of childhood fueled by her own childhood and the vision imparted by the poets she loved, i.e., Wordsworth and the other English Romantics. Then came her first child, Benjamin. Initially, he appeared to be astonishingly brilliant. He read early, was a whiz with numbers, and adored music. He spouted poetry. Then around age 3 everything changed and all the signs of Benj's brilliance became signs of something else.
While poetry may have given Gilman a false image of childhood, it also sustained her through the years of raising Benj. Inserted throughout this very readable narrative are passages of poems, those lines that seemed to Gilman to say something about her, her life, and her child.
If you visit the Amazon page linked above, you'll find a trailer with Gilman talking about her book. There's also an interview which can be opened and read there or downloaded as a pdf.