Clarity Between Clouds
Poems of Midlife
by Susan Ioannou
original paperback by Goose Lane Editions
now a collector's item
About the Book
About the Book
For Susan Ioannou, poetry is a highly personal act which surfaces from everyday existence. In Clarity Between Clouds, her disarmingly intimate voice strikes piercingly close to the harsh realities of existence, to reveal startling insights and sly bits of aphoristic wisdom. An ordinary act of cookery can transport her "far off to hanging gardens, swollen bees / frankincense and ancient stones," and the morning embrace of a favourite pet can teach her to "learn from him / how to purr / not snuggle under regrets."
But Ioannou's world is by no means narrowly composed. Rather, the poems in this collection expand beyond the everyday to include a dialogue with a Mannerist painting and a sun-struck idyll in a Florentine piazza, unveiling the commonality of emotions even in the most exotic locations.
"[In Clarity Between Clouds] Ioannou sings the praises of human nature and its strong ability to learn through hardships . . . an experienced poet who possesses a gift for expressing emotions that surface in the most unexpected situations. The most ordinary details of life, such as balance sheets and kitchen decor, become inquiries into human thought and reflections of very real, accessible feelings . . . a thoroughly enjoyable, highly recommended light read." (Carol Holland, Vox Magazine)
"Commendably, [in Clarity Between Clouds] Ioannou subverts the speaker's implicit faith in lost determinacy to the extent that she emphasizes the delusory nature of orders and origins. . . . Ioannou's work blossoms in the present tense, capturing the transmutative effects of light and the progress of seasons, gardens, and ‘indigo' skies." (Mark Cochrane, Essays on Canadian Writing}
"This is precious language in the best sense of the wordpersonification, onomatopoeia, art as motif (canvases, pastel portraits, watercolours, still-lifes, a preoccupation with dreams, nature, time passing, light and colour.) " (Anne Burke, Literature and Language)
"Susan Ioannou's Clarity Between Clouds celebrates the powers of light and sight. . . . In each case the moment inspires a luminous apprehension associated with love, grace, ease, or certainty. At their best, the verses seem effortlessly melodic. . . . I am especially impressed by the assurance of these poems, which observe but do not strain or moralize. Is this the attitude of midlife, as the book's subtitle suggests?" (Jon Kertzer, Canadian Literature)
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Copyright 2010 Susan Ioannou
Order InformationClarity Between Clouds by Susan Ioannou
Paperback: Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 1991, 74 pages, ISBN 978-0-864921-11-6, $7.00.
eBook: Toronto: Wordwrights Canada, 2010, 70 pages, ISBN 978-0-920835-44-9.
Autographed copy, online (by credit card using PayPal)
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Updated May 2016