Wednesday, March 5, 2014

if i have known beauty

"Listen. If I have known beauty
let's say I came to it

- Phyllis Webb

So these are the lines from whence I plucked the title of my forthcoming collection, Asking. You can read them in The Vision Tree: Selected Poems, which is on my recommended shelf above (it's been on there for a while so you might have to scroll down...)

Also from The Vision Tree by Webb:

"What are we whole or beautiful or good for but to be absolutely broken?"

{from "Breaking"}

You can read a bit more about Phyllis Webb here - an article written on the occasion of her 85th birthday.

In the foreword to her book Wilson's Bowl, Webb writes:

"My poems are born out of great struggles of silence. This book has been long in coming. Wayward, natural and unnatural silences, my desire for privacy, my critical hesitations, my critical wounds, my dissatisfactions with myself and the work have all contributed to a strange gestation."

At some point, I want to talk about the gestation of books in general, and about Asking in particular. But maybe the less said the better, as isn't there always a strange gestation? I certainly did have to come to terms with certain critical wounds.....and always, there are the great struggles of silence. But mostly, beauty, mostly light and beauty and art. And this stance: asking.

Well, speaking of beauty. My daughter, Chloe with her math homework.

She might be doing homework here:

And then, this light, this dog:


  1. Love the photos today (as always). Your words make me think about the dance between opposites-positive and negative, fullness and emptiness, light and dark, bright and muted, silence and noise- that keep artists endlessly occupied. Thank you.

  2. and green and red (my favourite opposites) in the bowl.

  3. this light
    this dog
    this daughter.
    you lucky one.
    you wordsmith of light and love!

  4. Your beautiful daughter's hair so perfectly reflects your roses! - as if hand painted. Dear Shawna, doughnuts or pasta..., everything you post is delicious food for thought! xx


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