Saturday, 11 February 2017

Project completed and an important new one to start on Monday

All three volumes of The Gundestrup Cauldron: a new theory are now published:

1: Imagery, origin and date
2: Context
3: Symbols of Transformation

If you follow the links you will be redirected to your most local Amazon store to purchase.

On Monday, I am starting a new project: the complete and annotated poetry of my late wife Carin Perron (1957- 2003). She made history in poetry competition by placing in the top three positions three years in a row in the poetry contest at the Bournemouth International Festival (blind judging by three different British poets). In her first year of entry she tied for third place for Anne (for Anne Morrow Lindbergh). The judge, Sebastian Barker, said at the Adjudication that he found the poem "stylistically assured and deeply moving." The poem was also read to its subject, Anne Morrow Lindbergh on her deathbed by a close friend. The second year, she received the third place for Daughter The judge was Jeremy Hooker (no relation to me!). In her final year of entry she won first place for The Shadow. Not wishing to temp fate, she did not enter the competition again. The judge, that time, was Neil Curry. Carrie wrote about his decision:

"Neil Curry, the judge in 1993, said when he first read the poem, he thought it was okay, but nothing special. He put it in the pile to read again, rather than the reject pile, but it hadn't made that much of an impression on him. He found, though, that as he read other things, he kept thinking about it. When he found himself still thinking about it the next day, he thought he'd found the winner.

"It was great to have the poem appreciated at last (though when Chris Wiseman [her poetry instructor at the University of Calgary] first read it, he said, "I wish I'd written it," a comment I've never heard from him before or since). I guess there's some kind of lesson here, about persistence or something: or maybe about obsessive forms obsessing people, I don't know. Because I'd won something at Bournemouth for three consecutive years, the judges each sent me an autographed copy of one of their books of poetry, as a personal prize."
The book was being prepared by Carin Perron during the last three years of her life while she was fighting terminal breast cancer. Only one poem was yet to be added to the manuscript, one she had dedicated to me:  Trapeze à Deaux (for John, but I will be including it in the appropriate section (as the last poem in Turning Home). Almost all of the annotations will be hers, but I will be adding some extra information in editorial parentheses. I have decided, in her biographical information, to omit the identity and her account of her first husband (now deceased), because what she wrote would be likely to upset his relatives and friends. As the section devoted to the poems he inspired is titled The Anti-Muse, you may well understand why. In any failed marriage there are usually two very different accounts as to the reasons for such failure and I must be sensitive to that.

The book, which is yet to be titled (her file title was simply "Poetry Book" is divided into two sections: Four Muses and Poet without a Muse. Each part of which will consist of a number of poems. The structure is her own and will be as follows:

The Four Muses:

1. The Reluctant Muse (her friend, the potter John Chalke, 1940-2014)
2. The Byzantine Muse (another friend, Mark Joslin (1956 – 1996) who had worked at the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Edmonton Art Gallery (now the Art Gallery of Alberta) and Latitude 53.
3. The Anti-Muse (her first husband).
4. The Hidden Muse (Death).

Poet Without a Muse:

1. A Tourist in People
2. Visions & Architecture
3. Turning Home

She had originally planned that all the notes would be at the end of the book, but as they are so much more than just the usual notes one finds in a book and have great historical narrative and even technical information about poetry. I have decided that each will follow its respective poem. People often do not read end notes and it was very important to her that readers and critics would not misunderstand her poetry as is so often done in the published works of other poets where such information is not present. Above all, she was a craftsperson and would often spend many years perfecting each poem before she would allow it to be published.

As might be understood, it has taken me fourteen years to become prepared to tackle this project. I cannot say, at the moment, how long it will take to complete, but I am hoping that it will be less than a month. I also have to design a cover.

John's Coydog Community page

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