Monday, October 22, 2012
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Bridget Bird, published by Serengeti Press, is a poetry book whose author is the Canadian poet, poetry blogger and educator Conrad DiDiodato.
Bridget Bird was launched in June 2012, at the Puddicombe Farms in Southern Ontario in an idyllic setting for poetry readings and nature musings.
Against the dulcet backdrop of verdant orchards and luxurious green-dappled shade cast off by passing clouds over the Niagara Escarpment, a very modern book of poetry, Bridget Bird, took its flight.
Mr. DiDiodato’s verses, constructed with informal and poignant poetic overtones, introduce us to a creative landscape distilled from both scenery and artful interrogation.
In several poems in the volume, a backdrop reminiscent of a lake shoreline, of exuberant and eerily mysterious fauna and flora converge to anchor the reader in its atmosphere:
“Fidgety, exuberant time of the year. Sweet earth tones
of a primal dinky Eden,
a yard that’s losing its green; scented suns, dews still
on late lilacs, fuzzy mists”
(From Mostly A Squirrel)
Quintessentially Canadian, this dreamy aria that speaks of “late lilac and fuzzy mists” reaches out into a larger literary context that insinuates itself once we set down the book for a couple of seconds.
W.H.Auden’s Look Stranger, On This Island Now unfettered a similar frame of mind:
“Here at a small field's ending pause
Where the chalk wall falls to the foam and its tall ledges
Oppose the pluck
And knock of the tide,
And the shingle scrambles after the suck-
-ing surf, and a gull lodges
A moment on its sheer side.”
This frame of mind is tinged by the rustling of critters and lake waters in Bridget Bird:
“I felt the heart of a lake say to me, just me
‘Harvest the little things, filmy-eyed
like shiners & spiders;’”
(From At Heart Lake)
The somewhat deceiving stillness in Mr. DiDiodato’s poetry is punctured by dramatic episodes, in which, in a friendly and ironic tone, the poet continues to engage his readers:
“A leaf pressed into the red thirsting beak
of a bird!
The harder the catch, leaf, slug, the harder you spin
like a Bridget bird!
(From Bridget Bird)
A thoroughly enjoyable part of Mr. DiDiodato’s poetry lies, in my opinion in the utterly modern/post-modern manner in which Mr. DiDiodato crafts his lines, in his use of the punctuation and syntax and in a lush and far-ranging vocabulary:
“A fatal drop of Verlaine, dead yet
like white anise
Verlaine, ablanket of ash over Montmartre”
Knowing that Mr. DiDiodato is an avid reader and translator of Dante, I looked for clues of this benefic influence in Bridget Bird.
I thought I found one here:
“As if a belief in the wind and a twig armed for weak stringy nestweren’t enough, I made a dash for the lake
with a leaf in my cap, billowing out into autumness.”
(From Into Autumness)
On second reading, though, I thought the fragment above more closely matches a snippet out of a Wallace Stevens book, whose poetry – I’m guessing – Mr. DiDiodato also likes (and quotes in Bridget Bird.) Or perhaps a poem by John Donne. Or - Theodore Roethke.
And the list may continue to grow.
Such is the gift of good poetry: it takes us back and it moves us forward, through an array of distant and familiar metaphors that dazzle our imagination and makes us want more of the same.
Read Bridget Bird by Conrad DiDiodato.
at 9:41 pm
George Seferis’ Mythistorema is a cycle of twenty-four poems, whose title could be translated as “novel. “ The poems form an expedit...
The Gardiner Museum , located at 111 Queen's Park in Toronto is Canada's national ceramics museum. The museum houses an...
Among the snippets of information available on the internet on the Mercian Hymns , Geoffrey Hill ’s celebrated cycle of poems, I thought th...
"And how remote that bare and sunscrubbed room, Intensely far, that padlocked cube of light We neither define nor prove, Where you...
Telus Center for the Performing Arts, Koerner Hall, Toronto Koerner Hall in Toronto has been the venue for the Griffin Poetry Priz...
Jack pines are a common occurrence in landscapes that come into focus and then fade away. And their raggedy, weird solemnity...
The Tollund Man by Seamus Heaney and Vitruvian Man by John Glenday are two memorable poems. In The Tollund Man , by Seamus Heaney , a...
Archer! Lurking in the shadow of the walls at Nottingham Castle, Robin Hood's statue upholds the legend of the mast...