Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Friday, March 30, 2012

Translations accepted for publication

Rose nebula, from the NASA collection

I've just had the wonderful news that my recent Spanish-to-English translations of Juana de Ibarbourou's "Rebelde" and Gabriela Mistral's "Sonetos de la muerte (I)" will be published in the May 2012 issue of String Poet.  

Look for a bumpy ride in Charon's boat and a sprinkling of rose dust.

Thanks, Annabelle!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Quill and Parchment

"Maternal Caress" by Mary Cassatt (1891)

I'm very happy to announce that I'll be the featured poet in the May issue of Quill and Parchment with three poems. Another poem will appear in the December issue, and another two will be published in an upcoming anthology. Thank you, Sharmagne!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ballad of the Vernal Equinox

Ballad of the Vernal Equinox

Her cup of coffee’s getting cold,
     she’s poured herself some gin,
her melancholy uncontrolled,
     her winter-patience thin.

She pulls the curtain back to see
     the bitter silver storm
that’s come to numb Sault Ste. Marie
     when weather should be warm.

The snow has stopped, the moon shines hard,
     the wind’s a gentle hush.
Coyote drifts into her yard,
     out from the brittle brush.

He stares her down with raw desire,
     his coat a map of scars;
for after all, he’s stolen fire
     and spilled a bag of stars.

I know a place where daffodils
     are pushing through the ice,

he hints with all his trickster’s skills
     and hopes she won’t think twice.

She smiles at him without a flinch,
     reflection in her eyes,
knowing she dare not give an inch
     to one both mad and wise.

A flick of tail – and then he's gone
     without a backward glance,
his one-time offer now withdrawn.
     Too bad. No second chance.

Yet when the geese return and love
     is nowhere to be seen,
she’ll scour the woods for traces of
     those brazen spikes of green.

(from Lines of Flight, page 18)

The unassuming eye . . .

Continued from Len Krisak's review of Lines of Flight in the April, 2012 issue of First Things:

The sensibility at work in Lines of Flight can morph from the brutally honest to the refined and back again for a mordant closing joke. In "Fatuity," the speaker carries on a silent monologue in the supermarket check-out line, imagining what might best be said to the slim woman she fears is judging her (and finding her wanting) for the junk food piled in the speaker's cart:

. . . Before I wheeled my week's supply
of relish out into the parking lot,
I whispered, Lady, this is all I've got.

Just so; the justification of "a lifetime lean/and hard" — if only the censorious woman had looked on her "with the scanner's unassuming eye." Note the puns on "relish" and "unassuming."

Here's "Fatuity" in its entirety:


She stood behind me in the check-out queue
last Saturday. She mentally weighed in
on items in my shopping cart. I knew
her thoughts: It's no small wonder she's not thin
like me. Look at that junk food - cookies, chips,
that pint of Häagen-Dazs, those salted nuts . . .
She sized me up and down from head to hips
and measured both our budgets and our butts.

Clairvoyant she was not. Had she but seen
as with the scanner's unassuming eye,
she might have figured out a lifetime lean
and hard. Before I wheeled my week's supply
of relish out into the parking lot,
I whispered, Lady, this is all I've got.

 (from Lines of Flight, page 34)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Orange jurisdiction

Pumpkin picking, 2008

From Len Krisak's review of Lines of Flight in First Things (April, 2012):

Catherine Chandler, a deft hand at ballades, pantoums, villanelles, even sapphics, and an uncanny adept at the sonnet (she is the winner of the 2011 [sic] Nemerov Award) is a poet whose expert attention appears to apply itself to just about everything on the poetic scale from giant themes to minute structural niceties.

Take, for example, her treatment of nature. Unless a poet is willing to reach for a metaphor of startling brilliance, it is a notoriously difficult subject. Yet in "Caesura," she manages something memorable. Fall becomes the time

where maples, marigolds and pumpkins vie
for orange jurisdiction

Gutsy, not hysterical or outré, like so many postmodern tropes.

Here is the poem in its entirety:


Between the last triumphant note of fall,
when maples, marigolds and pumpkins vie
for orange jurisdiction, and the rime-
embellished month of Christmas, there he is,

November, stark, severe, demanding all
imagination can afford: a lie
might do the trick; an epic, if there's time.
Anything to fill that void of his.

(from Lines of Flight, page 27)

And the poem really isn't about fall, either !

Note on the Nemerov Award referred to in the review: I won the 2010 award, but it was published in Measure in 2011.

More from the review later . . .

Sunday, March 18, 2012

"Drought" discussed on Texas blog


My poem, "Drought", has recently been discussed on the blog Anecdotal Evidence, a blog about the intersection of books and life, for the date Friday, March 16, 2012.

Good news: Mr. Kurp will be reviewing Lines of Flight for The Quarterly Conversation in the near future.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Oneironaut" on SpokenVerse!

John Henry Fuseli - The Nightmare (1781)

A reading and video of the first poem in my collection Lines of Flight, "Oneironaut", has been added to YouTube's SpokenVerse by the mysterious "Tom O'Bedlam" (more information on "Tom" here).

Click on the link to see and hear it.  SpokenVerse has over twelve thousand subscribers, and there have been nearly seven million video views of the uploads!

"Oneironaut" was first published online in 14 by 14  in December 2007 and then in the British print journal, Orbis, Fall 2008 #144.

Thanks to Jesse Anger for suggesting my name to "Tom".

Sunday, March 11, 2012

" . . . a radiant display . . ."

I've just finished writing the Foreword to a wonderful collection of poems by an esteemed colleague. More later . . .

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Angle - A journal of poetry

Punte del Este, Uruguay

My "Two Poems of the Sea" ("The Dawning" and "To a Minor Goddess"), with audio recordings, has just been accepted for publication in the new Australian journal Angle - A journal of poetry, scheduled to appear online in June 2012.

Many thanks to Editors Janet Kenny and Philip Quinlan for choosing my poem for Issue #1.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fourth Reprint!

I'm pleased to announce that my poem, "Mother's Day", has been reprinted (with permission) for the fourth time! This most recent appearance is in the current issue of Victorian Violet Press . The poem was first published by First Things (Number 167, November 2006) and subsequently in the anthology, Grace Notes in 2010.

"Mother's Day" was printed on a card and distributed to marchers and vigil participants at last year's  March for Life. After its appearance in First Things, a medical doctor from the Midwest was moved to write me that the poem had made him "gasp" in admiration.

The poem is included in my full-length collection of poetry, Lines of Flight (available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble), and will also appear in my sonnet chapbook, This Sweet Order (Victorian Violet Press), later this month.

I hope you'll click on the Victorian Violet Press link above and read the poem, as well as many other wonderful poems by friends and colleagues.

Thank you, Karen Kelsay, for choosing to reprint this poem.