1. The Poetics of Carolyn Zonailo
Carolyn Zonailo is a visionary
poet who writes with compassion and careful detail about the world
she lives in. Her poetic voice is at once earthy and grounded
in the everyday, while at the same time luminous and spiritual.
Her poems are about life–the
people she observes, relationships, nature, and what it means
to be human. Zonailo vividly explores how we love, suffer, grow,
and become as fully conscious as possible. She sees life with
the poet's eye, the lover's eye. It is not only romantic attraction,
but also love in all its forms–love for creation. Zonailo's
poems achieve lyric grace while articulating both the mundane
and the mystical. Her original talent creates authentic, honest,
well-crafted poems. Zonailo "looks out with clairvoyance
at the world we all, with peril and amazement, share". Then,
as poet, she universalizes our experience, allowing us to see
more clearly through the vision of her poetry.
Zonailo's use of language is sensuous,
visual and lyrical. In a voice that is intimate and immediate,
Zonailo shares her life experiences as a woman, from the particulars
of where she lives in time and place. Her poems reveal truths
at the archetypal heart of what it means to be alive. Zonailo's
observant nature embodies feminist perceptions, filtered through
myth, archetypes, and a Jungian perspective.
Carolyn Zonailo's poetic sensibility
was informed by the landscape of the West Coast, where she traveled
extensively while growing up. Zonailo's lifelong study of mythology,
religion, Jungian psychology, astrology and archetypal psychology
continues to be an influence in her writing. In addition, her
Doukhobor (spirit-wrestler) heritage brings another dimension
of historical and spiritual intensity to her work.
The poetry of Carolyn Zonailo is
unique in its ability to combine mystical insight with sensual
language. The themes in her poems cover the full range of relationships–erotic,
familial, mythic. She writes about our common struggle to live
with suffering, pain, joy, and the awareness of mortality. Above
all, Zonailo seeks to articulate that we are flesh and we are
spirit: "In Carolyn Zonailo's poetry, the quotidian is always
under instruction from the marvelous. Looking out of a clear eye,
Zonailo tries to find a sure music to translate what she sees
into the wonder of poetry."