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Reviews | Reviews | Bruce Whiteman

The Wide Arable Land, review by Bruce Whiteman, The Fiddlehead

     Carolyn Zonailo's The Wide Arable Land is more successful in this respect. Like Elizabeth Gourlay's, her poems draw heavily on nature for their imagery, but Zonailo's work is tighter and is informed by a more decided sense of direction. She is occasionally guilty of a too easy calling on the gods: invocation without evocation—and sometimes she verges on sentimentality, as in "Le Cadeau," where she writes of having "watched it [a flower] grow;/ grow visibly before my wondering/ eyes." At the same time, however, she is capable of writing some wonderfully spare, rhythmic poems. The best of these owe something to Williams, perhaps, but there is nothing derivative about them:

     why, anyway, cherry
trees bloom on schedule

the season returns
on schedule
the heart continues
to pump blood

staring death
in the face
staring it down

skin peels like water
in a boat's wake

Copyright by Bruce Whiteman:, 2004. | Reviews | Bruce Whiteman
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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