Friday, June 15, 2012



by Adam Zagajewski

Enthusiasm moves you in the morning, 
by evening you lack the nerve 
even to glance at the blackened page.
Always too much or too little,
just like those writers
who sometimes bother you:
some so modest, minimal,
and underread,
that you want to call out - 
hey, friends, courage,
life is beautiful,
the world is rich and full of history.
Others, proud and serious, are distinguished
by their erudition
- gentlemen, you too must die someday,
you say (in thought).
The territory of truth
is plainly small,
narrow as a path above a cliff.
Can you stick
to it?
Perhaps you've strayed already.
Do you hear laughter
or apocalyptic trumpets?
Perhaps both,
a dissonance, ungodly grating - 
a knife that skates
along the glass and whistles gladly.

{from Eternal Enemies}

Have you heard of the new organization, CWILA?  

"CWILA (Canadian Women in the Literary Arts) is an inclusive national literary organization for people who share feminist values and see the importance of strong and active female perspectives and presences within the Canadian literary landscape."

They've gone to the work of crunching the numbers, though if you've been a part of the Canadian writing scene in any way, you already know this.  Important work, though, and I'm grateful for it.

Mainly, these days, I'm about quietly getting the work I can do, done.  Not very grand, I know.  There's little enough time to do what I'm called to do, to meet the deadlines I have, to work at the job that pays the bills, to be there for my family. Even though I've sworn off reviews, I ended up reviewing 4 books of poetry for the Edmonton Journal (3 were written by women) not that long ago.  I try to highlight the work of my contemporaries from time to time on this blog, though I'm sure I could do more of that.   

It's difficult enough just to 'stick to it,' to keep one's own nerve up, to persist, mainly invisibly or so it will feel.  But I know how important it is to look up from one's notebook, or over the top of one's computer screen, and call out, 'friends, courage, life is beautiful.'  

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