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Poetics | Poetics | On Poetics and Discourse

7. On Poetics and Discourse

     A poem isn’t just language. A poem uses language in a certain way but poetry is much more than language per se. Poetry has an aesthetic element, a shape like sculpture. And poetry is a form of communication; it has something to say. Poetry is a way of speaking, whether it is the poet talking to their inner self in the solitude of the creative process, or to an audience of readers or listeners. Poetry also conveys knowledge. Poetry is one of the fundamental and ancient means through which we, as humans, share knowledge on a universal level. Poetry is visionary. It is through poetry that the collective or the cosmic becomes individualized.

     Language isn’t the sum total of poetry, just as sex isn’t the sum total of love.

     I draw from several sources in my poetry: the natural world; the sensual and erotic; the mythological; the spiritual; and the everyday, via personal experience.

     The poem makes meaning of an event that the event doesn’t always make. The poet’s personal life isn’t the essence in poetry—what matters is how the imagination uses personal experience.

     Art takes an individual’s life and distils it, gives it order and shape. That’s why throughout human history, we have made art—to give order to the randomness and chaos of our lives. Art reconciles the chaos of experience with the inner balance and harmony that we need to connect to the cosmos and to the universal. Poetry is an integral activity in the history of being human.

  Carolyn Zonailo
Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Copyright by Carolyn Zonailo:, 2004 | Poetics | On Poetics and Discourse
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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