Monday, April 3, 2023

Sally Ito*

Sally Ito is a poet and writer who has four poetry collections, including her new book Heart’s Hydrography (2022, Turnstone). She is an adjunct Professor of English at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg.

Rowan Williams (the former Archbishop of Canterbury) has written about this collection, “Winter landscapes, water landscapes, the landscapes of family love and frustration, and of the soul’s seasons―all these are mapped by Sally Ito with deep compassion and rich tactile imagery. Everyday perceptions made radiant.”

Sally has recently teamed up with Sarah Klassen and Joanne Epp to translate poetry from Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg for Burl Horniachek’s anthology To Heaven’s Rim: The Kingdom Poets Book of World Christian Poetry (2023, Poiema/Cascade).

The following poem Sally Ito wrote for me when I was seeking poetry related to the Biblical Stations of the Cross for Imago’s Toronto Arts Exhibition “Crossings: A Journey to Easter” which was presented in 2022. It is also the final poem in Heart’s Hydrography.

The Cross Speaks

I was a tree once, and of one body
that grew upward into the sky
and downward into the soil.

Many were the seasons of my life
until it ended with the ax.

Only the human would make out of my death
something out of the death of their God,
my dead body carried by him
who will die for them.

Still, I will lift him, and become the tree I once was
and I will bear him, as he bore me
and be planted once more
in the dark soil of my Creator’s nurturing.

Posted with permission of the poet.

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about Sally Ito: first post.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the author of five poetry collections including Angelicus (2021, Cascade) ― a book of poems written from the point-of-view of angels. His books are available through Wipf & Stock.