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)
Seeing Lessons (2010)
The Wrecks of Eden (2001)