Monday, October 26, 2020

Catherine Chandler

Catherine Chandler is a Canadian poet who was born in New York City, raised in Pennsylvania, and then emigrated to Canada in 1971. Until her retirement, she was a lecturer in Spanish in McGill University’s Department of Languages and Translation, in Montreal. She and her husband divide their time between Quebec and Uruguay.

She is the author of three chapbooks, and four full-length poetry collections ― most recent of which is Pointing Home (2019, Kelsay Books). She won the Richard Wilbur Award for her book The Fragile Hour. Along with her own poems, Pointing Home also includes ten poems Chandler translated from Uruguayan women poets.

Catherine Chandler’s poetry is characterized by forms ― such as the sonnet, pantoum, villanelle, and cento. Three of her poems have been included in the National Poetry Registry in the Library of Parliament in Ottawa.

The following poem first appeared in The Agonist, and is from Pointing Home.

Matthew 7:1-5

The fix. The stealth. The stoop. The swoop. The kill—
a barb more brutal than a falcon’s bill.

Words meant to wound. What are you on, some kind
of guilt trip?
(So much for the ties that bind).

Yet I, the speck-eyed sister, turned away,
keeping my counsel till another day,

trusting my mother hadn’t heard, although
her sense of hearing was the last to go.

-------------------------—Hospice of the VNA, Heritage House, July 2011

Posted with permission of the poet.

This post was suggested by my friend Burl Horniachek.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.