review by Janice Irving, The Capilano Courier
"If hearts were made of stone
love would endure."
Sensual. Spiritual. Rhythmic. Earthy.
If there were a common link that
covers all this Vancouver poet's work, it would be its simplicity.
Even readers unversed in subtle poetic styles will find Zonailo
refreshingly clear, unlike many of the more obscure styles adopted
by modern poets.
She writes of the sensual in everyday
life, of the link between nature and the unseen, of the grief
of losing a loved-one for days or a lifetime. She writes about
relationships. All of them. She writes about men and women, women
and nature, people facing the mystical within themselves and their
Zonailo has seven books currently
in print (available at Aerial and Octopus books). Zone 5,
published in 1978, follows her experiences while traveling in
Greece. It is also the chronicle of a deteriorating relationship.
Split Rock is about grief, not the whole book, just some of the
latest, is also her best. It includes many of her best poems from
her other previous six books, as well as some new ones. As in
all of her books, Compendium's style of writing is consistent
within the whole book. Her poems are stark, tight and powerful.
She gets her message across.
The poems in her earlier works
tend to be longer, with different, but not contrasting images
in each poem. What makes her poetry speak as powerfully as it
does is her humanity shining through the words to give the simple
messages contained in life—pain, joy, love, grief and desire.
Zonailo is also the author of A
Portrait of Paradise, The Wide and Arable Land,
Auto-da-fe and Inside Passage. She has also
contributed to countless magazines and periodicals.
Copyright by Janice Irving: www.carolynzonailo.com,