Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Cento: A Collection of Collage Poems

I'm thrilled to announce that two of my poems have been published in Theresa Welford's new anthology, The Cento: A Collection of Collage Poems.  One is actually a cento/sestina entitled "The Bard", from the works of William Shakespeare; and "I Had Some Things" from Emily Dickinson.  The book is available here and from Red Hen Press. Other poets in the anthology include Nicole Andonov, Lorna Blake, Alex Cigale, Allan Douglass Coleman, Philip Dacey, Sharon Dolin, Annie Finch, Jack Foley, Kate Gale, Dana Gioia,Sam Gwynn, H. L. Hix, David Lehman, Eric Nelson and Catherine Tufariello.

Testing Blogger to Facebook Sharing Interface

Several days ago it suddenly became impossible for bloggers to share their blog posts on Facebook. I've been searching on the Internet for solutions and hope this one will work. If there are any more of you out there with this problem, send me an email message and I'll pass on the solution. Cheers! Cathy

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Review of "Lines of Flight"

William Thompson
Alabama Literary Review

Recommended Reading

Lines of Flight, by Catherine Chandler. 
Able Muse Press.  $15.95.

     As a literary movement, New Formalism ran its course more than a decade ago, but many of its leading figures—Rhina Espaillat, for example, who wrote the introduction to Lines of Flight—still gather online at’s Eratosphere pages, where they join other writers in critiquing each others’ work and exchanging opinions about contemporary poetry, fiction, art, and politics. 
     In 2010, the newly founded Able Muse Press published an anthology of Eratosphere authors and continues to publish a print edition of the Able Muse Review, as well as a series of beautifully designed books by individual poets.
     As anyone familiar with the Eratosphere would expect, Lines of Flight, published earlier this year, showcases a variety of poetic forms deftly handled.  Of the 60 poems in this volume, 23 are sonnets, but Chandler also is in firm command of sapphic stanzas, ballad stanzas, the villanelle, the cento, and the haiku, among others.  Here, for example, is a very tricky Dominican form recently popularized by Espaillat, the ovillejo:

            Moriah holds my hand in early June.
                        Though soon
            the lilies we admire will wither, still,
                        she will
            be happy for our fugitive vignette.
            me-nots we’ll pick, blue thistle, fern rosette,
            hawkweed, trillium, wild columbine:
            an afternoon perenially mine,
            though soon she will forget.

     With its alternating long and short lines, the ovillejo (in English, “little ball of yarn”) lends itself to light subjects.  The short lines must be combined to make the concluding line, and when done well the effect is usually charming.  But Chandler, while exploiting its capacity for song, demonstrates that the ovillejo can also achieve real depth and power.  A less serious poet might have been contented with the technical feat of knitting three short lines into a meaningful conclusion.  In “For My Granddaughter,” however, each isolated iamb carries its own sense of regret (“Though soon”) or determination (“she will”) or consciousness of time’s flight (Forget- / me-nots . . .).  Notice, too, how cleverly Chandler uses the word “perennially”:  each plant she picks is a perennial, but she will also treasure the memory of this day year after year.  And, in spite of the poem’s assertions, so will Moriah revisit this day each time she reads this beautiful poem in memory of her grandmother.
     I’ve never fully believed that, as is sometimes said, it is harder to write well in free verse than in received forms, but I do know that the latter are much less forgiving of the merely competent.  In poem after poem, Chandler shows herself to be the kind of poet whose imagination, to paraphrase Valéry, is stimulated by formal demands.  The result in this case is genuine art.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Upcoming Poetry Reading

Texas chocolate sheet cake

Between making potato salad and a Texas chocolate sheet cake (with mocha chocolate icing!) this morning, I made a note to remind my local friends that several of the Greenwood Poets (including Louise Carson and Yours Truly) will be reading some of our new work at the Hudson War Memorial Library, Elm Street, Hudson, Quebec, next Saturday, May 26th, at 10:30 a.m.

Everyone's welcome. Refreshments will be served. I plan to read my new pantoum about the Lost Villages of Southern Ontario ("Inundation Day"), a new rondeau ("Heartwood"), an ekphrastic poem ("Automat") and a new list poem ("When"). Hope to see some of you there!

Now off to salt the asado!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

7,000 and counting !

I'm happy to announce that visits to my blog, The Wonderful Boat, have now topped the 7,000 mark !  Readers from all continents.  Thank you for reading !

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Recent poems

Things look like they're slowing down on the subbing front, and I've taken the opportunity to write several poems in the past few days:

a list poem (When)

an ekphrastic poem (Edward Hopper's Automat)

a pantoum (Inundation Day)

a rondeau (Nursing Home)

I have ideas, and titles, for two more poems. One will be a villanelle, the other probably haiku stanza, based on the ideas behind them.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

. . . the gentlest mother . . .

This will be my first Mother's Day without my mother. This poem by Emily Dickinson offers some consolation . ..

Nature the gentlest mother is

Nature -- the Gentlest Mother is,
Impatient of no Child --
The feeblest -- or the waywardest --
Her Admonition mild --

In Forest -- and the Hill --
By Traveller -- be heard --
Restraining Rampant Squirrel --
Or too impetuous Bird --

How fair Her Conversation --
A Summer Afternoon --
Her Household -- Her Assembly --
And when the Sun go down --

Her Voice among the Aisles
Incite the timid prayer
Of the minutest Cricket --
The most unworthy Flower --

When all the Children sleep --
She turns as long away
As will suffice to light Her lamps --
Then bending from the Sky --

With infinite Affection --
And infiniter Care --
Her Golden finger on Her lip --
Wills Silence -- Everywhere --

(by Emily Dickinson)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fantastic ekphrastic !

"Automat" by Edward Hopper, 1927

I've just finished revising a new ekphrastic poem -- six six-line stanzas in IP, rhyme scheme ababcc -- based on Edward Hopper's Automat.

My new MS is thus only three poems short: a pantoum, a rondeau and a ballad are in the works!

Reminder . . .

Lines of Flight, by Catherine Chandler

For those of you who haven't yet obtained a copy of my book, Lines of Flight, HERE IS A LINK.

Many thanks!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cradle Songs

Several of my poems appear in this new anthology. A review is available HERE . In the review, my poem, "For My Granddaughter", is mentioned.

Also, Three of my poems, "Cinquefoil", "Mother's Day" and "For My Granddaughter", are featured in the May issue of Quill and Parchment.