I found out about Gretchen Josephson when I was researching an article on on famous women with disabilities for an article on the woman's history month. Gretchen is a poet from Denver whose book Bus Girl was published by Brookline Books in Boston. Gretchen has Down Syndrome but as far as her poetry goes that is irrelevant. Her disability really doeskin impact her poetry in the way that mine does with the poems I create. You really only get an insight on to what being perceived as different due to disability in her poem A Tear for My Love in which she talks about how her relationship was railroaded because her boyfriend's mother could not understand that her son ,who also had a disability, was: a grownup and perfectly capable of being in love with Gretchen . As far as I am concerned Gretchen seems like a perfectly nice person and would be pleased if my kid was in love with her. Whats going to happen the next time this young man picks someone who is not so nice or appropriate, I bet the woman will be sorry then.
Gretchen deals with a lot of universal theme in her work, loss, faith, love and even ecology.Her poems are not all happy as someone might expect due to the wrong headed nature of most peoples perception of those with Down Syndrome as perpetual children incapable of having adult thoughts. Gretchen disabuses the reader of any such thought about her own work within the first four stanzas of this book in my opinion.Perhaps, for, this is because I didn't have such notions going into it but anyone who still thinks of people with Down Syndrome as childlike after reading the entire book could not be my friend anymore.I know this sounds harsh but this is how I feel.
I rate this book 8.5. The copy I have currently belongs to the Newton Library. Its overdue by some days but the fine is only a dime per a day and I am really rather reluctant to let it go back because I enjoyed it so much and felt it shattered so many stereotypes as I strive through with my own poetry. I am going to have to return it soon though otherwise they wont let me take out anymore books which would be a disaster for me. I plan to write a few centos (which are poems written using the words of other writers that are arranged by another poet in new ways) I hope that some day I will get to meet Gretchen and show her the work I created based on her work. I hope she enjoys it,I think I woulds be rather sad if she doesn't. Find this book online, It is out of print but I am sure someone somewhere has it.
I'm not going to Amazon to find a copy because my honorary niece is boycotting Amazon and asked me to sign the petition to do it too because of some of their business practices.Shes 14 and its her first petition. No matter how much I want a book I wont violate her cause (which I also agreed with) to get it.Secondly ,I have a rule if your a jerk business you don't get my money .So I'll sadly have to take the book back tomorrow or at latest on Thursday when I go to writing group at the library.But I'll keep searching for a copy and think you should too.