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Reviews | Reviews | Susan Drodge

Wading the Trout River, review by Susan Drodge, Canadian Literature

     Zonailo's Wading the Trout River speaks to the power of influence and attests to the influence of Judeo-Christian discourse on our grapplings with the ineffable. This collection likewise moves through four different sections: "Geographies of the Heart," which offers a number of memorable portraits of human compassion and vanity; "The Male Nudes," which resurrects "the divine masculine" from "the reckonings of our gendered selves"; "Twin Souls," which plays with notions of self, shadow, and romantic love; and "Letters of the Alphabet," which infuses each letter with romantic expectation and desire.

     Zonailo is direct in her diction and compassionate in her characterizations. In "Old Ladies of Montreal," she depicts women who "have earned their chin / whiskers or mouths where / lipstick runs over the edges," while in "Alex the Doorman," she mythologizes a socially marginal character who has assumed the position of "a liminal god, / addressing all who enter or exit."

     Wading the Trout River, however, is obscure at times in its communication of experience, as its intimate addresses to a specific romantic partner assume an understanding between subject and other that limits the imagery of some of these poems. This readerly desire for more detail, on the other hand, could signify Zonailo's ultimate success in eliciting a voyeuristic impulse to synthesize self and other—an impulse that seems to be the motivating force of many of her poems.

Copyright by Susan Drodge:, 2004. | Reviews | Susan Drodge
Wave Goddess
The Wave Goddess
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Zonailo attended ...
CZ is a visionary poet who writes with compassion and careful detail about the world she lives in.
GoddessThe Goddess in the Garden combines mystical insight and sensual language to evoke a timeless meadow where humans and deities play out eternal passions.
She draws on her study of mythology, astrology, and Jungian psychology, for a seemingly inexhaustible source of imagery.
There is a quality in her work which makes all her poems hers, but Zonailo’s style does differ. Compendium is a collection of short, lyrical poetry; Zone 5 of prose. Each book is an extension of her poetic exploration and a separate expression.
Over the years of sitting in Grant's Cafe or the Europa and talking poetry with Lewis Gretsinger, the questions have been asked: why write? what are you saying? what are your poetics?
Last Will and Testament
I give my soul to God.
I give my body to the earth.
I give my poems to posterity.
I give my spirit to tolerance.
I give my mind to the future.
Forthcoming Titles
The Land of Motionless ChildhoodThe Land of Motionless Childhood is a memoir of short stories by Carolyn Zonailo about growing up in Vancouver, and her Doukhobor heritage.
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CZPictures of CZ from her 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.
Literary Papers
Spanning the years 1955 to 2005, the Carolyn Zonailo Papers holds, as nearly as possible, a currently complete collection of Zonailo's extant literary papers.
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