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Poetics | Poetics | The Poetics of Carolyn Zonailo

1. The Poetics of Carolyn Zonailo

     Carolyn Zonailo is a visionary poet who writes with compassion and careful detail about the world she lives in. Her poetic voice is at once earthy and grounded in the everyday, while at the same time luminous and spiritual.

     Her poems are about life–the people she observes, relationships, nature, and what it means to be human. Zonailo vividly explores how we love, suffer, grow, and become as fully conscious as possible. She sees life with the poet's eye, the lover's eye. It is not only romantic attraction, but also love in all its forms–love for creation. Zonailo's poems achieve lyric grace while articulating both the mundane and the mystical. Her original talent creates authentic, honest, well-crafted poems. Zonailo "looks out with clairvoyance at the world we all, with peril and amazement, share". Then, as poet, she universalizes our experience, allowing us to see more clearly through the vision of her poetry.

     Zonailo's use of language is sensuous, visual and lyrical. In a voice that is intimate and immediate, Zonailo shares her life experiences as a woman, from the particulars of where she lives in time and place. Her poems reveal truths at the archetypal heart of what it means to be alive. Zonailo's observant nature embodies feminist perceptions, filtered through myth, archetypes, and a Jungian perspective.

     Carolyn Zonailo's poetic sensibility was informed by the landscape of the West Coast, where she traveled extensively while growing up. Zonailo's lifelong study of mythology, religion, Jungian psychology, astrology and archetypal psychology continues to be an influence in her writing. In addition, her Doukhobor (spirit-wrestler) heritage brings another dimension of historical and spiritual intensity to her work.

     The poetry of Carolyn Zonailo is unique in its ability to combine mystical insight with sensual language. The themes in her poems cover the full range of relationships–erotic, familial, mythic. She writes about our common struggle to live with suffering, pain, joy, and the awareness of mortality. Above all, Zonailo seeks to articulate that we are flesh and we are spirit: "In Carolyn Zonailo's poetry, the quotidian is always under instruction from the marvelous. Looking out of a clear eye, Zonailo tries to find a sure music to translate what she sees into the wonder of poetry." | Poetics | The Poetics of Carolyn Zonailo
Wave Goddess
The Wave Goddess
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Zonailo attended ...
CZ is a visionary poet who writes with compassion and careful detail about the world she lives in.
GoddessThe Goddess in the Garden combines mystical insight and sensual language to evoke a timeless meadow where humans and deities play out eternal passions.
She draws on her study of mythology, astrology, and Jungian psychology, for a seemingly inexhaustible source of imagery.
There is a quality in her work which makes all her poems hers, but Zonailo’s style does differ. Compendium is a collection of short, lyrical poetry; Zone 5 of prose. Each book is an extension of her poetic exploration and a separate expression.
Over the years of sitting in Grant's Cafe or the Europa and talking poetry with Lewis Gretsinger, the questions have been asked: why write? what are you saying? what are your poetics?
Last Will and Testament
I give my soul to God.
I give my body to the earth.
I give my poems to posterity.
I give my spirit to tolerance.
I give my mind to the future.
Forthcoming Titles
The Land of Motionless ChildhoodThe Land of Motionless Childhood is a memoir of short stories by Carolyn Zonailo about growing up in Vancouver, and her Doukhobor heritage.
Photo Gallery
CZPictures of CZ from her 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.
Literary Papers
Spanning the years 1955 to 2005, the Carolyn Zonailo Papers holds, as nearly as possible, a currently complete collection of Zonailo's extant literary papers.
CZ Go to the Top of the Page.
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