Looking for Light
by Susan Ioannou
About the Book
From the Back Cover
Brief Quotes from Book Reviews
More Detailed Reader Comments
About the Book
In a deeply troubled world, how is it possible to "Make it beautiful," as her Muse demands, Susan Ioannou asks in her fourth major poetry collection, Looking for Light. In the attempt, she follows the artistic imagination’s travels as far as Italy’s Bagni di Lucca, fantasizes about a poetry class romance, feels the intimacy between sculptor and subject, and swirls with a dancer’s passion. Part 2, Beyond Knowing, turns inward, blending spirituality, nature, and the paradoxes of particle physics to puzzle about the experience of God and the mysterious forces that brought us into being and invisibly sustain us, body and soul. Part 3, Passing Seventy, explores transformation, both physical and emotional, as the final years of life approach. Not only do ageing’s challenges of failing health and family loss reshape our familiar perspective on the present, they drive a larger vision of what may come after the inevitable happens.From the Back Cover
"There is more true poetry, more beauty, knowledge and song—direct transmissions from Susan's Muse—in each of the three sections of this collection than in 99% of the entire typical Canuck poetry offering. Miss devouring this book, and you'll miss the heart, soul and wisdom of one of Canada's best and wisest poets."Brief Quotes from Book Reviews
—Chris Faiers, poet, publisher, editor, first recipient of the Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Medal
"In this engaging third period work, poet and career editor Susan Ioannou relentlessly questions the adequacy of words to capture the gleanings of her keen-eyed, open-eared travels through space and time—even words that hang themselves upon the catch-nail of love."
—Ron Charach, author of cabana the big and Prosopagnosia
"The fruitful exercise of a poet who writes about the impossibility of creation" – Anne Burke, News from the Feminist Caucus (The League of Canadian Poets), August 31, 2016.More Detailed Reader Comments
"Recent and recommended...A fine (capstone) collection" – Brenda Keble, paperplates, Vol. 8, No. 4, 2016.
For additional responses to Looking for Light, click Recent PraiseThree Poems
Like so many, one day waking
I ponder Who and Why
undreamed us here,
grounded earth, the stars,
breathed open space, at once
so microscopic, so immense
no eye, no brain can fathom.
Who? Or is it only
what longing cannot bear:
an infinite complexity
spiralling through eons
its soulless imperfection.
Where is the radiant figure
I crave, to comprehend,
to shiver to accept
the brutal amid beauty,
love in spite of evil,
—my uneasy wonder?
It isn’t a whale
gulping you whole into its darkness,
but each precise piranha
ripping its toothful of flesh from your bones
that reddens the current
and shocks you upright at 3:00 a.m.
in a bed a-shiver with nerves.
It isn’t the shrapnel of worry
or disappointments or fright
razoring into your chest,
but the force field of day after day
magnetizing their mini-weights
until they thonk together and strike
—that massive wrecking ball:
a stroke, a breakdown, a heart attack.
It isn’t the first, or the only
—why among thousands in the mirror’s
rear-view, one particular blur
happens to hurtle you into the smash-up.
It is—remember?—that tiny bug you brushed off
that creeps out from the shadows and bristles
the giant-millipede nightmare.
High on a shop shelf strewn with old figurines,
side by side, two little white rabbits
whispered to me, Pick us.
And even though formed from roughened plaster,
each rounded body, grounded on big paws
curled comfortably into my palm.
How soothing to slide my thumb
around plumped cheeks
long curved ears,
one pair tilted, as if to listen,
the other flopped back, cavalier.
Four small pink eyes bored into mine,
as if both crinkled noses had scented
a succulent lettuce leaf.
And so I carried them home.
to crouch on the table and watch,
still and silent, where I write and read.
across the window’s full moon
one leapt toward me in a dream.
Tall as my knee,
with glistening fur,
it hopped at my heels from room to room.
Eyes, pink crystals, up it stared
as if to be held and spoken to.
Snuggling into my arms,
its now-silk whiteness stroked me calm.
All the while, its eyes kept burrowing
deeper. I couldn’t get free.
In sunlight, on my writing table,
still the plaster pair study me:
Do it. Is that what they say?
Rabbits are symbols of fertility.
—Not only in flesh,
but also in words?
To OrderLooking for Light, by Susan Ioannou (Brighton, Ontario: Hidden Brook Press, 2016), 81 pages, paper ISBN 978-1-927725-34-4, $19.95.
Available through amazon.ca, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indigo, and other online bookstores Paperback autographed by the author: online by credit card using PayPal Institutions
In Canada, through Hidden Brook Distribution In the United States, through Ingram.
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Updated September 2016