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A Tapestry of Words and Demons
Poetry from the Canadian West Coast - The Early Years
Stephen C Norton
For me, poetry is the oddest form of writing. Sometimes the words come all by themselves, triggered by an event, an image, a thought, even a book I've read or movie I've seen. Something triggers the mind, and words and images suddenly, uncontrollably, flow.
Other times, it's deliberate. I sit down to write a poem about something or someone. Sometimes that works out well, sometimes, when I'm finished, I throw out the last few hours work and go have a cup of tea.
My favorites are those that write themselves, leaving me to do some minor clean-up, spelling adjustments, a word here or there, nothing more. The image has written itself out and the demon has put down the pen, returning control to me. However, suddenly grabbing a pen and scribbling for minutes or hours is somewhat disconcerting to those around you, especially if they thought they were having a conversation with you at the time.
I've also found that running alongside the impulse to write, comes an impulse to create on the artistic side. I develop fascinations with a type of art, and explore it for days, or months, or, in some cases, for years. As the two seem to go hand in hand at times, I've chosen to intersperse these poems with some of the art that I did around the same time as the poetry. Sometimes the two focus on a common theme, sometimes they run, unrelated but in parallel. Sometimes the art leads the poetry, sometimes the reverse. Both seem to be driven by demons or some sort, with their sudden onsets, amazing intensity, and wide-ranging curiosity. Something always needs to see what comes next.
During the early years, tapestries were a re-occurring interest. There are some who believe that each life is a tapestry, woven on the loom of the Fates, each thread spun by Clotho, measured by Lachesis, and ended at death with a click of Atropos' scythe-sharp shears. The choices made along the way define the color, hue and saturation of the threads. In a way, that's how it always begins, with a new interest in creating art, laying out the weave and weft, planning the crossings, over and under. Think of the crossings as decision points of life; under, you decide to go left, over, and you choose right. For simple things the weaving is easy to plan and follow. As I have found, the more complex the tapestry the more problematic the questions of decision, when the over cannot follow the under and maintain the pattern. At such times in life, the weave is in danger of loosing its strength and cohesion, and the tapestry itself is forced to change. Other times, a tapestry is started, and then, for no apparent reason, simply abandoned.
It is amid the writing of words, the weaving of lines on paper, decisions made or not, the choosing of one pathway to follow, and another to walk away from, that a life passes.
And so, I give you the tapestry from the early years of demon scribbles: words and images, thoughts and visions.
- Publication Date:
- 1927343216 / 9781927343210
- Page Count:
- Binding Type:
- US Trade Paper
- Trim Size:
- 6" x 9"
- Black and White
- Related Categories:
- Poetry / Canadian