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Reviews | Reviews | Len Gasparini

The Wide Arable Land, review by Len Gasparini, The Vancouver Sun

     Caitlin Press of Vancouver has just released three new books of poetry—all modestly priced and with an attractive format.

     The title of Carolyn Zonailo book The Wide Arable Land is apt in view of the poetry she writes. The phrase is taken from John Keats, but the image is very much a part of Zonailo's poetic landscape: soft, loamy, and full of possibilities.

     Flower imagery abounds in her work, and there is something almost allegorical about the way she describes the experience of living, as if emotions and incidents were omens in themselves; and perhaps they are.

     Her vision is religious in a crudely pantheistic sense. Growth, fruition and decay are the only realities beyond our human system of arbitrary values. This is what Zonailo's intensely lyrical poetry is saying to us, and she brings it off beautifully.

     The Wide Arable Land is divided into six sections, and the sequence entitled “Journey to the Sibyl” is undoubtedly the most interesting and experimental. It reminds one of a Debussy prelude: "there's a moment of flowers/ the bird-woman building a nest/ called love.... she uses my bones to build her nest..."

     There are many notable poems in this collection, and only a few require further pruning. It's obvious that Zonailo has cultivated her land with imagination and grace.

Copyright by Len Gasparini:, 2004. | Reviews | Len Gasparini
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.
Photo Gallery
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.
CZ Go to the Top of the Page.
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