Saturday, March 19, 2011


Have you ever just stopped to think about how you could possibly exist in this moment in time, at this very location, with this mind, this body, this vision, taste, feeling of the world? Really? How is it possible that there is a person on the other side of the earth living (or dying) a tragedy as I sadly sip my tea watching the news?

Gloe Cormie's poem, In the Foam of the Cosmos gives a glimpse of how many of us ponder at times about our "smaller than small bodies on this lint-sized earth -"

I'll nod off this evening with deep, deep thoughts of humanity. What am I really contributing to this world?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Havfrue (mermaid)

I love how Gloe Cormie gives us a glimpse of an item and brings to life the far reaches of our imagination. In "The ancient Havfrue the sea washes up," she tore me right out of the first line of the poem with a word I didn't recognize, providing an asterisk with footnote to solve that problem, and drawing me right back in to the wondrous scene. It was a simple statue of a mermaid and she surrounded it with imagery and verse that made me feel like I was right there and continued to stretch my wonder into what the history of the statue was as well. Wonderful poem.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Word Throwdown # 9

In this next word throw down, I want you to speak a poem as if you are an inanimate object that brings voice to something.
In this one stanza poem, the speaker is the blanket cover of a bed sharing an old pup's secret.

I hold the furtive warmth
the soft sweet lingering
scent. The oil, hair,
snoozing drool. Your heart
content to secretly sleep
until the tires roll in
that familiar straining
engine sound
and you are wrapped instead
in the excitement of a full body wag
at the door.

-Brandy Lynn


The tone of this poem for me is that of mourning because of the title Marrow but also because of the memories. Gloe Cormie creates Marrow as the speaker which is fascinating and also seems to be a female who feels she is the voice and bones of this place/this beach house. I get the message that this place would no longer exist except that she holds its memory, and can speak of it, bringing it back to life.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"The sky is full of sudsy clouds above endless water."

Rather than say I'll be critiquing each poem, I'll say that I will speak about how the poem pushes me to think. I am more a lover of poetry than a critic as I tend to find something that I love or at least that I learn from every poem that I read. Also, I imagine there will be poems that move me, poems that confuse me, and poems that inspire me to write. So I'll comment on some, but not all, whenever my heart desires. Sometimes I'll be inspired to write a poem of my own. I really hope you enjoy following along.

"The sky is full of sudsy clouds above endless water." - Gloe Cormie

This first poem of her book Sea Salt, Red Oven Mitts and the Blues tosses me into a frenzy because it sounds like the speaker is talking about a woman who can't distinguish her imagination from reality. At the end it seems like her thoughts, as clouds, have tantalized and convinced her of something, yet turn their backs on her as satisfied as a haunting bully.

1st Volume of Poetry - A Manitoban

Well, with the help of a few friends I've decided on the first single-author volume of poetry for my 20 volume challenge. I find it hilarious that I've entered the notion of supporting Canadian poets by perhaps purchasing and reading their poems and my friends and family have inundated me with lending offers. It appears I won't have to by a single book. But, nevertheless I will be supporting these poets by reading them and blogging to my hearts content. So my first volume is Sea Salt, Red Oven Mitts and the Blues by Gloe Cormie. I felt it was appropriate to start in my home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba where I happen to be at this moment in time. I'm looking forward to this book because my friend Jocelyn recommended it and just flipping through the pages glancing at the titles it seems like a light hearted, sometimes troublesome and nostalgic look into a prairie writer's mind.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A poet or not?

For years I've been dreaming of, chatting about, and writing my first book of poetry. My silly daydreams have me trotting around the globe meeting great writers and signing my books for poetry lovers clamouring to chat with me. Sound familiar? Many of us have a hidden poet yearning to share their whimsy or pain. But I was reading the website of Salt Publishing the other day and realized that I am in love with the craft of poetry but am perhaps not so well versed in the world of poetry. There were several candid tips on the ins and outs of getting your poetry published, but there was one bit of advice that has been rattling around in my brain now for days. The website put out the notion that if editors had one wishful rule, it might be the following..."Poets are not allowed to submit a manuscript until they have read two hundred single-author volumes of poetry published since 1980." My jaw dropped when I read that. Although it was likely said in jest, I have not read any single-author volumes of poetry. Not even one. I read poetry every single day online, for free. But I think I only own about 8 or 10 actual books of poetry and I've never completely read any of them. What is that all about? How can I expect to write a book of poetry, become published and hope that people will run out and clear the shelves of it when I, as a lover of poetry, am not supporting poets that I enjoy? So I've decided that even though 200 single-author volumes might be unattainable as a blog space goal, I might be able to pull off twenty. So that will be my next personal challenge. Don't worry - I'm not giving up yoga. But I will read 20 single-author volumes of Canadian poetry and blog about them to my heart's content. As there are 10 provinces and 3 territories, I'll try to find poets from across Canada. This should be fun. I hope that you'll follow along. I'll announce the first book this week and likely infuse some word throw downs along the way.