February 2, 2008


click on photo to enlarge

The poetry of Sophia Wellbeloved resists categorization and even description and that is all to the good because her poems have their own sense of rich imagery, movement, rhythm, colour, and design. Her eye is caught by odd currents of thought and feeling. For instance, in one poem she christens the lunes of her fingernails: “Unseen, / Unheard, Unspoken, Unthought, Unknown, / Unfelt, Uncertain, Unlived, Unlike, Undone.” (Name another poet to whom the idea would occur.) She is inventive with words and phrases such as “shroudal” and “reciprocal abandonment.” There is humour here too: “Thursday’s child still impregnates and kills, / but only after a good night out at the opera.” There is seriousness and mysteriousness as she yearns to read “languages / I have no dictionary for.” Then there is her elusive and evocative side: “I call upon the most high and the most / high comes into being.” (What comes to mind here is the image of the poet as wiccan with crown on head and wand in hand.) Throughout Sophia Wellbeloved’s poetry there is a strong sense a movement and a motion, a swirling, a reeling, and a revealing, a dervish-like dance, perhaps in search of balance.

John Robert Colombo is a poet and anthologist based in Toronto whose special interests include Canadiana and consciousness studies. His latest book is “The New Consciousness” (Battered Silicon Dispatch Box), a collection of R.M. Bucke’s papers on Walt Whitman and consciousness studies.

Shortly to appear are two of his new books. The first is Footloose: A Commentary on the Books of Gordon Sinclair. The second is End Notes, a collection of poems.

%d bloggers like this: