Shall: ghazals

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By: Catherine Owen

April 2006
88 pages | ISBN 1-894987-08-X

In Shall: ghazals, Catherine Owen has created a collection of spare and haunting beauty. These poems, based on the Persian ghazal form, catalogue a series of losses. Those of a mother whose child is growing up and away, those of a wife losing a marriage, and overarching all of this, the loss nature suffers at the hands of humanity. Each poem is jewel-bright and sharply facetted. There are no excess words in Owen’s writing, her images and observations are all distilled to their essence. Shall: ghazals is a piercingly powerful collection.

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the Corazon after hours club

for Karen Moe

Many weeks of candle wax
: candles queasy on their stems.

Can you see the mountains?
Their strata shifts within me

as I drink. The singer on the folding chair
holds her guitar - a lover

without hope of leaving.
Cat’s claws on green walls. Ash

and peanuts in my hands. Ask
me again, if you can, about time.


A Will to Language (M. Travis Lane, The Fiddlehead 237, 9/1/2008)
"I highly recommend Catherine Owen's new collection of Canadian ghazals, Shall:ghazals, and I shall be reading them again and again."

Varied Voices (Darlene Shatford, Canadian Literature, 6/1/2007)
"Owen's collection of ponderings on the poet's uneasy relationship with language deserves more than a single reading; the poems are complex and compelling, worthy of study."

Other Titles by Catherine Owen

Dear Ghost, (2017)

The Other 23 & a Half Hours: Or Everything You Wanted to Know that Your MFA Didn't Teach You (2015)

Catalysts (2011)

Seeing Lessons (2010)

The Wrecks of Eden (2001)

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