Poet Elvira Borgstädt always envisioned growing old in good health, endowed with vitality and strength. After a productive life, she wanted to take her time retracing the ancient steps of Machu Picchu, visiting the Valley of the Kings, and going on a walkabout in the Australian outback. Instead, things took a different turn when multiple sclerosis forced Elvira to re-focus her entire life at the age of forty-two.
Inspiration arose out of illness and brought her back to writing. If the Dead Could Sing is comprised of sixty poems that document the author’s journey from the depth of despair to transcendence.
Elvira denies nothing, having recognized the approaching beast with a clear understanding of its brutal path. She turns her gaze away from illness and embraces the moments, details, and unexpected gifts in her daily life. Despite difficulty, she is peacefully assured that in the depth of suffering lies the golden path that leads back to the eternal source from which everything springs.
Elvira Borgstadt’s powerful collection calls us to the “tapestry of living light.” … As she carefully tracks such imagery and living, Borgstadt wonders if she has the “guts to go on,” tells of existing through pain, and of when the body dreams. Presciently, she writes “As it turns out / in the beginning / everything is folded like paper,” and demonstrates how life is, layered into, onto and unto itself. Read Borgstadt’s If the Dead Could Sing, a reverie and a return.