review of “the weight of dew”

Posted by Daniela Elza on Mar 27 2013

What a lovely surprise yesterday to read this review of the weight of dew by Catherine Owen. Catherine has started a series of reviews called Marrow Review on her blog The Relentless Adventures of OCD Crow and this is the third instalment. Here are the previous two pairs of books reviewed in this series.

Marrow Review #1: Kim Clark & Bruce Kauffman
Marrow Review #2: Warren Heiti & Steve Noyes

I like the way she structures the reviews. Each has three sections: what shines, what stumbles, and what echoes. Here is the beginning of what shines for the weight of dew (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2012).

“Elza’s poetic sequences read as liquid shards of one long, undulating poem, complete with bright fragments, the halting re-bars of incomplete parentheses, floating letters and other evocative demarcations of breath. This book is a score for the land; a musical accompaniment for the reverie-space of road trips.”

Click here to read the rest and the whole of Marrow #3 with the two books side by side. The other book is of Melanie Siebert’s debut collection “Deepwater Vee” (McClelland & Stewart, 2010). I was reading her book last year on a plane to Bulgaria.

Catherine has done a very thoughtful read of my book and am grateful she lent her time, her mind, heart and ear to it. It was curious to see her make a connection to Gwendolyn McEwen’s Dark Pines Under Water, which I have not read. The lines she thought echoed that source, actually grew themselves fresh in my body while looking at the deciduous trees along the road and how they glistened in the sun like water. How the pines didn’t among them. Sometimes the quotes come first. And sometimes the poems come first and find their echoes in quotes. Is how it goes.

I fully understand the things Cathrine points out as what stumbles. I have felt that myself. In the search for the form and how to acknowledge more immediately the muse or inspiration it does not always work out. Also once I “stumble” on something exciting I tend to push to see how far I can push it before it stumbles me. So there are the pitfalls of playing and experimenting with forms and rhythms, with the auditory and the visual effects. One is bound to go to far. One is bound to trip the way one does on an bolder or clump of dirt, even a rusty can. And that is part of the terrain too.

It is also delightful to see that both the books in Marrow #3 review are debut collections by women.
Thank you, Catherine.

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