Publication (June 01, 2007)
Looking through Stone: Poems about the Earth by Susan Ioannou
Review by Jane Werniuk
It might not be apparent by reading this magazine, but I am a lover of poetry, particularly verse, engendered by being read nursery rhymes and poems by my mother when I was a child, and reinforced by reading them to my own children. I was therefore pleased to receive my own review copy of a recently published Canadian poetry book on the theme of rocks, minerals and mining.
It is remarkable that the poet, Susan Ioannou, can find enough separate subjects and maintain enough interest to produce the scores of works that appear in this short book, but that just shows how unimaginative we can become about what is clearly shown to be a rich and evocative field. A few passages follow.
In “Mineralogy Lesson”:
… I believe:
the inanimate is prickly with soul,
or why do its ions attract, heat rising,
and fasten on others
faster and faster?
Isn’t that love?
he insists. “Physics.”
–unaware he blushes.
In “Prospector” written for Eira Thomas:
That night, she changes
the locks to the core-sample tent,
unplugs computers, and cuts the telephone line.
Under her pillow,
pried from a kimberlite length,
grinning, she stashes a 2-carat stunner,
mark of the highest grade cluster
of diamond pipes in the world:
138 million carats.
In the Epilogue entitled “Petrologist”:
In sunlight, one by one,
he lays out his stones,
loving their tints,
silky or ragged faces.
He fondles, speaks to them,
wonders when they will whisper back
where each formed,
what it grated against,
where some day it would go.
The author lives in Toronto. She has published other books of poetry as well as short stories and novels. “Looking Through Stone” is being distributed as part of the PDAC’s Mining Matters educational program, and is being used by the Rainbow District School Board in Sudbury, Ont., as part of its Specialist High Skills Major in Mining curriculum.
Looking Through Stone: Poems about the Earth
Author Susan Ioannou
107 pages, paperback; $17;
Published by Your Scrivener Press
(705) 522-5126; www.yourscrivenerpress.com