In 2005, at the age of 42, Lenora Lapidus was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer that had spread to her bones. She wrote the poems included in Diagnosis during the three months following the discovery of her disease. Writing these poems was cathartic, helping her process the fear and pain with which she was overcome. Lenora is currently working on a documentary film about the correlation between fertility hormone drugs and breast cancer, again using art to explore her illness and share her healing with others. This is possibly the very first time that a collection of poetry has been titled Diagnosis. It is not a poetical title per se, but in this particular case it is a beautiful title. Lenora Lapidus' deeply moving, sensitive and far reaching poems give this word all its dark vibration and devastating strength. Cancer is literally countered by words, turned into striking images, and defused through metaphors. Diagnosis is a collection about pain and hope, about the possibility of death and the strength of life. It is based on the Buddha's first truth: "All is suffering," but is fueled by the Buddha's antidote-compassion. This is an important collection, which will help readers come to grips with the unthinkable and walk through it, as it is, finally, but a (painful) illusion-yes, an impermanent illusion-just as life is.
Author of Spontaneous Combustions and Mothballs Few poets have recorded the journey of cancer while trying to live fully as a mother and spouse as unflinchingly and movingly as Lenora M. Lapidus. At once elegiac and forward-looking, Diagnosis is replete with honesty and resonant with hope despite the heavy uncertainties of its author's life. In her poems Lapidus weaves the ordinary and extraordinary, everyday domestic and oncological details, and never looks away from the toughest emotions-for, as she writes about fear, "Like a bear in the woods / Or a snake in the grass / If we run away they will run toward us." These generous poems inspired me very much.
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