I am excited about this idea. In the past few weeks, I've frequently listened to podcasts of interviews with or about authors whenever I get the chance (I should probably listen to music more, but I am an information hound through and through).
Today at the gym I found this podcast of CBC's lovely Shelagh Rogers interviewing one of my favourite poets, Lorna Crozier. I posted one of Lorna's poems, with her permission, here.
In Shelagh's interview, Lorna discusses and reads from The Book of Marvels: A Compendium of Everyday Things. These aren't poems, she claims, calling them miniature essays, but they hold all the power of the poet's facility with language and flexibility with images. I mean, she anthropomorphizes a fridge! I love that.
Off the top, Shelagh mentions attending a workshop with a Native woman, who says that everything, every object has a spirit, and we should be thanking the chair, for instance, for holding us up. I've always been quite an animist at heart, so I have no trouble feeling this way. However, I notice that it's easier to thank an object's spirit if that object is attractive.
If it's aesthetically pleasing, I honour it.
If it's ugly or utilitarian and made from plastic, for instance, I think of environmental degradation and I'm not so grateful for its spirit. Yet the plastic object didn't ask to be here, didn't ask to be created and be useful for awhile and then to sit in a landfill for too many years.
I digress. But the interview made me think, so if you're in the mood to ponder life's big questions and be entertained by two lovely women, have a listen. Lorna is funny, Shelagh is funny (I laughed out loud on the cross trainer at one point). I really like the sound of Lorna's thinking. At one point, she's talking about jellied salad and Jello and says, "I think it trembles because it's embarrassed to call itself food."
They also speak of the soul. Where is the soul in the body? Lorna believes it moves from one part to another. She tells a story told to her by another poet who was also a doctor. He speaks of a patient he was operating on to remove a brain tumor. The skull is open, the knife begins to slice and the patient cries out: "Leave my soul alone! Leave my soul alone!"
Here is one piece she read in the interview, to give you a taste.
Snow (from The Book of Marvels by Lorna Crozier)
How much snow and grief have in common. Their connection with the seasons, their silence, their slow accumulation. Consider the woman who, sensing the hush of the first snowfall, gets out of bed in the early light of morning and lifts a man's loafers from the back of the closet, pulls on her boots and parka and steps outside. Placing her hands inside his shoes, she bends, plants his footprints next to her own, straightens, takes another step, and does the same thing again and again, all the way from the porch to the garden gate. There, she stops and looks back. His tracks beside hers. She has matched the drag of one heel and the longer stride. The snow briefly holds them, then, impeccably falling, fills them in.
Some are much more lighthearted, so don't be scared away. It's not a "heavy" interview, but I won't spoil it by chattering on and on. Oh, too late? Yes, without further ado, Lorna Crozier, Canadian poet extraordinaire.
** Note: the gorgeous big turquoise vase with the darker blue "drips" running down it and the three bowls on the table were a gift to the house, bought by yours truly, and are made by a potter whose work can be viewed here.