…of study today: Gerard Manley Hopkins, infamous for his sprung rhythm.

And because there are too many hours in one day, I must compile an annotated bibliography based on 5 critical articles that deal with “The Windhover”.
I’ve forgotten how much work is entailed in reading this style of poetry, but I’m liking the rigour of the reading. Hopefully I will gain some editing skills from this and maybe a great word or two for a poem somewhere down the line. Or not. Hopkins was infamous as well for making up his own words. The lexicon of Hopkins.

We dealt with the curtal sonnet this morning mostly– another form invented by Hopkins. (I’m so Hopkinsian). Or not.


…for something completely different.

I don’t normally work in this fashion, but I’m beginning a phase of doing things that I don’t normally do (yes, be afraid, be very afraid).

My last honours class in English happens to be a creative writing class. We are all working in our own genre specific areas; the class is heavily theory laden, which is fine, part workshop, and partly based on exercises which we have to hand in for a final portfolio. Our opening exercise consisted of writing a letter to one of the authors on our list (we were required to make up a reading list specific to our genre and style of writing) reminiscent of Susan Sontag’s “A Letter to Borges”.

Here is my letter that I wrote yesterday(apologies for the double line spacing, as I can’t figure out how to remove it–please feel free to make any comments you may have as it is still new and raw):

Unsent letter to Sylvia Legris



I never worried much about the fish.

Like language, fish were foreign

to a younger me



unfamiliar as the prairie fields that addressed

an émigré while travelling

by train. The departure

beginning from the past.



Reading you, I’m looking out

that window. Remembering a migration

of dogs. I followed



impossibly. Do you

like my hat?



Yes. Yes.



Imagine a bed big enough

to sleep everyone.



Even at the age of four I believed

it was possible



believed there were beds

with room enough for all. A moon

roosted in the bedroom window.



And later they drove

cars to a celebration

in the biggest tree on the flat, migraine

                                of a white page.



And how is it

I didn’t understand dogs

don’t climb trees



until the other day when I read

to my nephews, their eyes fixed—

paper on pause, each child

eagerly waiting the next flip

of fingers.



Or how reading a book in the sun-

fingered limbs of shadow’s past

is akin to the awareness

                                of pain. The fissure—



your squall clouding my brain, the swell

of my own nerves, thinned and tightening.



Repetition is the mother

of all movement. I am that

child again.



There are memory-tornadoes looped

in the words I read.




You said the word is embouchure.

Our blood pulsing from the heart

to each peripheral region. You said

limbic. You said swim. You said



words that were in my mouth, formed

by my mouth. An immigration.



What you said landed on me, a spring

rain escaping the staggered sky



or a sudden snow layering sheets on

to shape one big bed.





Quote and references from Go Dog Go—by P.D. Eastman


…it feels like to be in my shoes today is like my comments on these posts–for some strange reason (I don’t know if this is new or just that I’ve never paid attention before) there is a question mark above my name. It is reminiscent of my state of mind today and I think it suits my questioning persona these past few days as I struggle with my own sense of identity as friend, mother, student, barber, lover and writer. Why do we flounder in some roles and excel at others?

There is a question mark above my head. I hope it stays.