Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Book Bag: Seeing the Body Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

4 September 2020

From the first word of the title itself, you realize this is not a book to skim through. Rachel Eliza Griffths titles her book of poems and photographs on the loss of her mother Seeing the Body, playing on the common notion of "viewing" the body at a wake.

It's a promise from the start that your attention will be rewarded.

We found the poetry sparkling rather than obscure, sketching in anecdotes a portrait not only of this strong mother preparing to leave this life but of the relationship between her and the gifted daughter who must find a way forward without her.

And Griffiths is not shy about using those gifts even if it has always been something of a taboo to mix words and imagery in a serious work unless they were produced by different hands.

But the sets of photographs show what the words tell.

We acquired a review copy of this book precisely because Griffiths had mixed poetry and photography, text and image. We've found the combination powerful here, as you may have noticed, and wanted to see what she did with it.

The images are monochrome, mirroring the black and white of text. And they are self-portraits in which Griffiths appears in a flowing white gown. The settings vary from interiors to the outdoors. And the point is made by her dance-like pose in those settings.

Unlike the text, in which both women make appearances, the photographs show only Griffiths. They are a poignant final statement by a woman who could not imagine life without her mother as she continues on.

Seeing the Body by Rachel Eliza Griffiths, published by W.W. Norton & Co., 144 pages, $26.95 (or $25.34 at

BackBack to Photo Corners