Coal and Roses: Twenty-one Glosas

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The Porcupine's Quill, 2009 - Poetry - 96 pages

Coal and Roses is a collection of 21 intricately formal glosas, arranged to explore the endless possibilities of language. In this slim volume, P. K. Page offers the reader a wildly eclectic overview of the history of poetry, as well as a master class in the evolution of language as evidenced in the poet’s ‘communion’ with her attributed predecessors. Coal and Roses offers a collection of poems that stand by themselves as commentaries on many of the issues endemic to the varying times, places and circumstances of the aforementioned attributees. Life, death, a palpable need for belonging and the inevitable passage of time are all to be encountered, as one might expect in a work that ranges from the sort of trivial, light-hearted sympathy for the trials of day-to-day life to much weightier reflection on the probability of a greater existence. The use of the glosa form serves to emphasize both the continuity and the evolution of life, and of art.


Included are twenty-one glosas, borrowing on the works of nineteen artists. Spanning numerous centuries, movements, genres and corners of the world, Page explores the works of Wallace Stevens, Theodore Roethke, Margaret Cavendish and Akhmatova amongst others. Coal and Roses is an exquisite work, respectful of the past and hopeful for the future.

 

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Contents

The Search
12
Innite Regression
16
Each Mortal Thing
20
The Age of Gold
24
Ah by the Golden Lilies
28
Your Slightest Look
32
The Blue Guitar
36
soft travellers
40
Domain of the Snow Queen
56
My Chosen Landscape
60
The Last Time
64
No Exit
68
On a Far Shore
72
Green How Much I Want You Green
76
After Chaos
80
Coal and Roses A Triple Glosa
84

How to Write a Poem
44
Improbable Concept
48
Paradise
52
Acknowledgements and Credits
91
About P K Page
93
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

P. K. Page wrote some of the best poems published in Canada over the last seven decades. In addition to winning the Governor General’s Award for poetry in 1957, she was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1999. She was the author of more than two dozen books, including ten volumes of poetry, a novel, short stories, eight books for children, and two memoirs based on her extended stays in Brazil and Mexico with her husband Arthur Irwin, who served in those countries as the Canadian Ambassador. In addition to writing, Page painted, under the name P. K. Irwin. She mounted one-woman shows in Mexico and Canada. Her work was also exhibited in various group shows, and is represented in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Victoria Art Gallery, among others.


A two-volume edition of Page’s collected poems, The Hidden Room (Porcupine’s Quill), was published in 1997, and the full range of her richly varied work is being made available in a digital resource, The Digital Page, supplemented by a series of texts in print and e-book format published by The Porcupine’s Quill.


P. K. Page was born in England and brought up on the Canadian prairies. She died on the 14th of January, 2010.

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