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Reviews | Reviews | Stephen Scobie

The Wide Arable Land, review by Stephen Scobie, Books in Canada

     Carolyn Zonailo's The Wide Arable Land, from Caitlin Press in Vancouver, is an uneven book, but at its best it offers poems of great lyric beauty and subtlety. Especially fine is the closing sequence, "Journey to the Sibyl," in which Zonailo is able to bring together mythic or surreal symbols with the observed details of a local landscape. The Sibyl's voice, which has spoken to poets from Petronius to Eliot, echoes here in the authentic sounds of the B.C. coast:

only her voice
high in the arbutus leaves

a shriek, winter
in an old wooden building

a moan, as logs rub
against rocks

     Against this, one must set such failures as the over-extended whimsy of "The Red Camellias," or the tendency of some of the shorter lyrics to fall off into weak, generalized endings. But with this, her fifth book, Zonailo is clearly on the verge of becoming an important B.C. poet.

Copyright by Stephen Scobie:, 2004. | Reviews | Stephen Scobie
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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