In her newest collection, Lorna Crozier describes the passage of time in the way that only she can. Her arresting, edgy poems about aging, and grief are surprising and invigorating: a defiant balm. At the same time, she revels in the quirkiness and whimsy of the natural world: the vision of a fly, the naming of an eggplant, and a woman who – not unhappily – finds that cockroaches are drawn to her.
I’ve taken to reading poetry this summer and Lorna Crozier is a favourite. This collection gathers reflections on aging, the natural world and life in general. A semi-finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, What the Soul Doesn’t Want is a wonderful collection.
For me Crozier’s voice is pure Canadian. As a reader raised on Atwood, Laurence, and Munro, I recognize that feminist Canadian voice on a purely instinctual level. It resonates deep within me, making me pause after a particularly keen note is struck, suck in a deep breath, and scan the poem, soaking it in again and again. As a woman hitting her middle years, I found this collection from Crozier particularly poignant. It delves into bare truths that are easy to bury in daily life. The subtle sense of loss that permeates the aging process saturates her poems and yet is juxtaposed with pieces of whimsy. The cockroach poetry is particularly intriguing.
The best poetry blends pure emotion with intellect. Crozier does this well. At times, however, her realism edges towards depression. Yet just as one is tipping into the futility of life, she pulls back and throws in a beautiful portrait from nature, putting one’s human existence into perspective and evoking a smile.
Lorna Crozier is a favourite. And poetry is worth every penny you spend on it. Don’t miss this lovely collection.