Showing posts from April, 2015
A poem I've read dozens of times over the years suddenly appears as though I'd never seen it before. This is not unlike the effect of spring's first blossoms. Has the world ever seemed so charged? When the book fell open to "Elegy," I remembered this was the poem I'd been waiting for all my life. Tomas Tranströmer ELEGY             (translated by Robin Fulton) I open the first door. It's a large sunlit room. A heavy car goes past in the street and makes the porcelain tremble. I open door number two. Friends! You drank the darkness and became visible. Door number three. A narrow hotel-room. Outlook on a back street. A lamp sparking on the asphalt. Beautiful slag of experiences. From Tomas Transtromer, New Collected Poems, trans. Robin Fulton. Bloodaxe Books , 2011. Reproduced with kind permission of  the publisher. (Girts Gailans, courtesy Red Edge Images)


Several years after hearing first murmurs, then exclamations, about Sandra Ridley's evocative poems, I discovered them for myself. We met one summer afternoon in Tamworth, in the garden of Robert and Lorie Wright's bookshop. Sandra had stopped to take in a poetry reading on her way to a month-long retreat in the woods.    SUSAN GILLIS: What brought you to poetry – or, if you prefer, what brought poetry to you -- in the first place? SANDRA RIDLEY: Poetry didn’t find me until I was in my twenties. Until then, I didn’t know what poetry could be, and even now, I can’t define it. Aside from “In Flanders Fields” and King Lear , I can’t remember reading any other poems in high school. Does that mean the curricula contained material that didn’t resonate with me or does that mean a faulty memory? I don’t know. The first poems I’m conscious of I came across while doing graduate work in Environmental Studies at York University. My thesis was on the sacredness of place. Part of