Friday, February 14, 2014

don't use the phone

Poetry is the achievement of the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.

- Carl Sandburg

“Don't use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry.”

- Jack Kerouac

“To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.”

- Robert Frost

“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.”

- Robert Frost

The impact of poetry is so hard and direct that for the moment there is no other sensation except that of the poem itself.

- Virginia Woolf

I thought it might be nice to share some quotations about poetry, being that it's Valentine's day. I'd actually never heard the Sandburg line about hyacinths and biscuits - how brilliant. The Kerouac line about using poetry rather than the phone strikes a chord with me. If you know me, you know how much I dislike using the phone....when it rings I jump a foot in the air, immediately fill with despair, and also, even if it's just a telemarketer, it takes me forever to get back in a calm and focused state afterwards. It makes no sense, but there it is. 

Well, it's Friday, and we must be overdue for a virtual coffee date. 

On the menu - strong Colombian coffee with a scoop of Breyer's Neapolitan. 

Some news, but first, a poem by William Stafford:

Why I Am Happy

by William Stafford

Now has come, an easy time. I let it
roll. There is a lake somewhere
so blue and far nobody owns it.
A wind comes by and a willow listens

I hear all this, every summer. I laugh
and cry for every turn of the world,
its terribly cold, innocent spin.
That lake stays blue and free; it goes
on and on.

And I know where it is.

And so. Yes, Now has come an easy time. Hard won, those of you who've been listening to my not so very calm whinging over the years, will know this.

My book Asking is very close to arriving, and the launch date has been set in Edmonton for April 17th, 7:00 pm at Audreys Books. It's also available for pre-order at Amazon. Which makes it seem very real, indeed!

In other news, my novel, titled I.s., has been accepted by Palimpsest Press. The publication date is to be 2016, which seems far off, but I know will come up quickly. Palimpsest published my book Calm Things, so it's particularly gratifying to have another book with them.

The novel is about a young woman obsessed with the philosophy of the soul and The Museum of Bags and Purses in Amsterdam. I visited the museum with Rob and Chloe in 2011 - exquisite place.

You'll be hearing more about the book, and its journey into print, over the next while, I'm sure :)

So, I'm just enjoying this good news, letting it roll, as Stafford says. And being quietly happy about it.

I'm wishing you a sweet Valentine's day, a sweet Friday.....and as always, calm things.


  1. oh my!
    well done!
    and now i want ice cream and there is none in the house. and it's late.

    1. LOL. well.
      of course you have to know i mean "well done!" on the birth of your books.
      not the latte. :D
      only i still want a latte now.
      and i will have to get a copy of your books too.

    2. Tammy - you made me laugh :) thx so much :)

  2. Dear Shawna,
    I always enjoy your selection of poetry, your thoughts and of course your beautiful pictures! inspiring, calming, soothing, etc...
    Talking books, I am a hundred pages from finishing The Goldfinch and I remember that you made comments at the time; unfortunately, I cannot find the page when you wrote about it (January some time?). Now I am curious to get your remarks.
    D. from the Swiss Alps
    p.s. Looking forward to "Asking"

    1. Thx D. Will love to hear what you think of the ending.

  3. Replies
    1. Dear S.
      RE: The Goldfinch -Wouah! It seems that when I started reading the last 100 pages, the book took a bit of a different turn, either in the story or her writing style.
      I can’t really elaborate without divulging too much for readers who have not reached that point.

  4. Congrats, Shawna! Such excellent news!

  5. Very exciting news, Shawna. Well done. Hope to see you at Audrey's.


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