Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Frost Farm Prize Deadline Approaching

I put my one entry in the mailbox today. It's "winter-spring"-ish, a love poem, in heterometrical stanzas.

This year's judge is the wonderful poet, Catherine Tufariello.

For more information click HERE.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

". . . high in the clean blue air . . ."

At last!  This morning I had my first sighting this spring of wild geese returning. Below is a lovely poem by Mary Oliver, "Wild Geese".

HERE is a YouTube video of Mary Oliver reading "Wild Geese" and other poems.
The reading of "Wild Geese" begins at 1:50 into the video.




Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

© Mary Oliver

Monday, March 25, 2013

Margaret Atwood on Catherine Chandler's Poetry

Margaret Atwood at Eden Mills, 2006 - Photo from Wikimedia Commons

As part of my prize for placing second (out of almost 3,500 entries) in the recent Wattpad Attys poetry competition, I'll be receiving personal feedback on my poetry from Margaret Atwood.

Update to follow.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"And all the way home . . ." In Memory of Paul Stevens

Photo of Paul Stevens on the homepage of his online broadsheet, The Flea

I have just learned some very sad news. Paul Stevens, poet, critic, editor and friend, passed away yesterday, March 22, 2013.

Paul, who edited The Shit Creek Review, The Chimaera, and  The Flea, was one of my earliest and staunchest supporters, publishing my work in all three of the above mentioned venues. He also nominated three of my poems for the Pushcart Prize.  Most recently, he wrote a lovely testimonial for my book, This Sweet Order.

Paul was also one of the distinguished selection panelists for the online sonnet journal, 14 by 14, where sixteen of my sonnets have appeared.

A wonderful interview with Paul appears HERE.

Farewell, Friend. You will be sorely missed.

Map of Tasmania

From a cloud, drawn
To liquid trickle
To ferned wet gully
And rivulet’s fall,

I push through fen-sedge,
And bracken, through rich
Forest-scent of fertility,
Deep moss on bole

And boulder, down roiling
White cataracts,
Wineglass to Cradle,
And all the way home,

And all the way home:
At last to sail free
Between southern capes
Thick with kelp and wild foam,

With wave awash, surging,
Late sun on the headland,
And shadow down valley
Past all memory.

By Paul Stevens, Originally published in The Road Not Taken

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Priecājos jūs atkal redzēt !

Thanks to my readers from Latvia for visiting my poetry blog, which has now received more then 19,000 visitors!

I hope you are enjoying the poetry.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

María Eugenia Vaz Ferreira

My essay on the brilliant and often overlooked Uruguayan poet, María Eugenia Vaz Ferreira, is now online at the Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project HERE.

I will be working on English translations of some of her poems over the course of this year.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Announcement: The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes - Anthology

Richard Vallance, Editor-in-Chief announces 
an upcoming anthology of sonnets!

The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of sonnets 
of the early third millennium = Le Phénix renaissant 
de ses cendres : Anthologie de sonnets au début du 
troisième millénaire

Vallance, Richard, Ed-in-Chief. Victoria, British Columbia: 
Friesen Press, © June 2013 6 x 9 " approx. 250 pp. 
Colour cover; 35 b&w illustrations. Some 300 sonnets and 
ghazals in English, French, Spanish, German and Farsi ― 
is now in the galley production stage at Friesen Press, and 
is scheduled for release sometime in June 2013. 

ISBN: Hardcover: 978-1-4602-1700-9 
Paperback: 978-1-4602-1701-6 eBook: 978-1-4602-1702-3. 
Prices as yet to be determined. 

Friesen Press will do all the marketing and distribution. 
To be available in major bookstores & through all major 
online order channels such as,, 
Smithsbook's and Ebay. 

For more information on the anthology, please visit the site,  
The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes = Le Phénix renaissant 
de ses cendres,, where the 
following book prizes may be won, if you visit the site 
at just the right time, a beautiful illustrated edition of 
Shakespeare's Sonnets, bound in crushed silk, and two copies 
of the anthology upon its release. 

So visit the site and visit often, and you just may be in luck.

Richard Vallance
The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes;
Anthology of Sonnets for the Twenty-First Century (2013)
Home Page:
The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

Friday, March 1, 2013


Back yard, March 1, 2013. Photo by Catherine Chandler

March Elegy 

by Anna Akhmatova

I have enough treasures from the past
to last me longer than I need, or want.
You know as well as I . . . malevolent memory
won't let go of half of them:
a modest church, with its gold cupola
slightly askew; a harsh chorus
of crows; the whistle of a train;
a birch tree haggard in a field
as if it had just been sprung from jail;
a secret midnight conclave
of monumental Bible-oaks;
and a tiny rowboat that comes drifting out
of somebody's dreams, slowly foundering.
Winter has already loitered here,
lightly powdering these fields,
casting an impenetrable haze
that fills the world as far as the horizon.
I used to think that after we are gone
there's nothing, simply nothing at all.
Then who's that wandering by the porch
again and calling us by name?
Whose face is pressed against the frosted pane?
What hand out there is waving like a branch?
By way of reply, in that cobwebbed corner
a sunstruck tatter dances in the mirror.

Leningrad, 1960

Translated by Stanley Kunitz (with Max Hayward)