This nineteen page booklet provides a
perfectly balanced combination of poetry
and images, all of them created by
Paulette Turcotte, a well-known Canadian
artist and poet.
Offering a prose poem in 14 stanzas, the
poem begins with a communication from
Henry James Sr., to his sons Henry and
William in which he advises his sons
that any life worth living "flowers and
fructifies...out of the profoundest
tragic depths of the essential dearth in
which its subject's roots are plunged."
The more sorrow we experience the more
our lives will blossom.
In the poem, a grieving first-person
narrator, isolated and lonely,
experiences dream encounters with the
memory of a loved one, in the night.
During the day, sorrowful, unsatisfying
confrontations with the world cause a
yearning for something beyond the
no one is satisfied
with the meagre rations of
we invent new religions to
satisfy some hunger for divine
Night is a metaphor
for sorrow, and the black and white
abstract images and photos of objects
interwoven with the poem mirror the
balance of night and day, darkness and
light that this poem portrays.
Too, contemplation and action are
juxtaposed by a slowing down of time in
the interior world, and a quickened pace
in the exterior world as the narrator
endures sorrow and loss over and over
me one iota of peace. I die a
thousand times before tomorrow.
do not reproach me dear beloved
Even though this poem
confronts the utter pain of separation
from a loved one, there are cracks of
light in the work, and the last line of
an addenda provided at the end of the
poem implies a movement toward
that in dreams, I danced.
—Reviewed by Mary Ann Sullivan