Monday, December 12, 2011

Reporting from Night

The more leaves are lost,
the more lights we see at night.
In the cold,
the city glimmers through the trees. 
~from "Ravine" in Reporting from Night by Kateri Lanthier
There are realities that lie beneath the surface of the seen world that poetry, paintings and music can help us to make sense of. The arts can open up the way to inner healing, becoming conduits of grace. Poetry is an especially vital art form that enables people to understand the truths about themselves and the universe. I recently read the newly released Reporting from Night by Canadian poet Kateri Lanthier. The poems contained therein are rich  reflections on the journey through life and death as the author ponders the mysteries of daytime and nighttime. An extraordinarily gifted wordsmith, Kateri breathes new meaning into ordinary words and phrases, so that the reader is given fresh insights into otherwise mundane occurrences. Hers are poems to read over and over again. 
While Kateri's poems are often whimsical and full of sly humor, as she allows us to accompany her through her youth to womanhood and motherhood, they unflinchingly deal with the dark moments of existence as well as those of joy. The following is an excerpt from a  poem about a mother stopping in the midst of dinner preparations to dance with her little boy.
I sweep him up
my tiny partner
so light off his feet.
Sky dark,
plates bare.
I ask,
“Why did we dance?
“Because because
of the sun
in the music
on the radio.”
Art has the power to transform. I will never look at trees, darkness, night and winter in the same way ever again. I will never look at motherhood in quite the same way. Kateri has given me a lot to ponder. The poetry is bold yet enchanting and meant to be savored; I am still in the process of absorbing it.
Kateri Lanthier
Kateri is my cousin and the sister of novelist Jennifer Lanthier whose wonderful book The Mystery of the Martello Tower I have also reviewed on this blog. Kateri's poems have also been published in London Magazine (England, ed. Alan Ross), The Antigonish Review, U.C. Review, Saturday Night, Descant, Grain, Poetry Canada Review, Writing Women (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England), The Toronto Quarterly, The Toronto Star, Poetry’z Own.
Reporting from Night is available, HERE. (I am honored to have been mentioned in the  acknowledgments!)


May said...

You have a wonderful, talented family!

Gio said...

This sounds absolutely wonderful. I'll pick up a copy asap. And I agree with Matterhorn, you have a very talented family.