Monday, December 13, 2010

Sarah Klassen

Sarah Klassen was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she still makes her home — although she has spent time teaching in both Lithuania and Ukraine. She is the author of six collections of poetry, including A Curious Beatitude (2006) which won the Canadian Authors Association Award for poetry — an award which has honoured many of Canada’s finest poets, including Margaret Avison.

She is best known for her poetry, which speaks, among other things, of her faith, and the Germanic heritage of her Mennonite upbringing. She has also started to publish fiction, including her short-story collection The Peony Season, and her recent novel A Feast of Longing.

The following comes from a piece called Poems for Advent, which begins with an Emily Dickinson quote — “There’s a certain slant of light...” ; since I am just including the first section (which is quite independent of the others), I will simply call it:

Poem for Advent

He comes at last, the long-expected painter
in working clothes, carrying ladders, paint-
splattered dropsheets. He’ll cover everything
and scan each wall for cracks
--------------------caused by the building shifting,
plaster and scrape, making rough places plain.
If he’s inclined he’ll hum
--------------------Lo how a rose ere blooming
while I remove from every room all hindrances:
the vining ivy, ornaments, those matched lamps
that might get in the way of things. Myself.

When everything is ready he’ll begin.

(Posted with permission of the poet)

Read my Canadian Mennonite review of Sarah Klassen's poetry collection A Curious Beatitude here

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: www.dsmartin.ca