Archives: Brick Books

Colleen Thibaudeau’s “Letter Eight”

Colleen Thibaudeau’s “Letter Eight”

Letter Eight

Place was that piece of ground between house and swing,
yielding to the foot,
covered with reddened strawberry leaves
and that small vine that isn’t wintergreen.

Among the cedars, some of them struggling still like old limbo dancers,

covered with a lighter green lichen,

there on the day that William Faulkner died I came and stood
and even if I had not willed it so, down my head would have gone down,

thinking definitely about something:
God, how I love this little part of ground.

Colleen Thibaudeau, 1974

Near Jericho Beach, Vancouver, BC February 2017

Near Jericho Beach, February 2017

 

“Letter Eight” is from Colleen Thibaudeau’s elegiac sequence Ten Letters (1975) available from Brick Books. The Ten Letters sequence also appears in The Artemesia Book (1991).

((( ο )))  Listen to Jean McKay read “Letter Eight” here: https://audioboom.com/posts/886698-jean-mckay-reads-letter-eight-by-colleen-thibaudeau-from-the-artemesia-book-poems-selected-and-new

Colleen Thibaudeau, Summer 1977 in London, Ontario

Colleen Thibaudeau, Summer 1977 in London, Ontario

Little Anne Running, Big Anne Shopping & Another Anne’s Mysterious Visiting Birds

Little Anne Running, Big Anne Shopping & Another Anne’s Mysterious Visiting Birds

 

Little Anne runs from flower to flower to flower
honey-haired happy every minute every hour.
Big Anne shops successfully and hardly stops.
Another Anne’s house abounds with the evening sounds and even words
of mysterious visiting birds.

*

Little Anne tosses sticks into River Thames
this is one of her camping games.
Big Anne reads on the beach and lets the waves reach her.
Another Anne says, ‘Well Polly how pretty you are.’ And ‘Just
listen to that canary up there.’

*

Little Anne Running, Big Anne shopping and reading on the beach,
Another Anne tending her mysterious visiting birds;
These Annes appear in different strips, unknown each to each,
so make their first acquaintance here in a blur of words.

Colleen Thibaudeau, 1984

“Little Anne Running” first appeared in The Martha Landscapes, available from Brick Books. Later the poem was set to music by Oliver Whitehead and featured in Adam Corrigan Holowitz’s play Colleening (2013).

Colleen's granddaughter Edie Reaney Chunn (age 4) August 2000

Colleen’s granddaughter Edie Reaney Chunn (August 2000) (Photo by Yuki Imamura)

Colleen's friend June Rose on a visit to London, Ontario (Summer 1974)

Colleen’s St. Thomas friend June Rose on a visit to London, Ontario (Summer 1974)

June Rose and Colleen Thibaudeau, Port Stanley, Ontario (Summer 1990)

June Rose and Colleen Thibaudeau, Port Stanley, Ontario (Summer 1990)

Colleen Thibaudeau’s “There’s a waterfall in Iceland”

Poem

There’s a waterfall in Iceland
That cries by the thousandsful,
even on a postcard, it’s forever saying,
don’t fear again, horseman, ride on,
I’ll do the crying for you.

Mr Kopf burnt off his wintergrass
it was exciting when the wind changed
and he had to phone up his brother-in-law;
for a day or so it showed black
now you can’t see it for the new growth.

Saturday morning riders shyed away
from my pampas grass going up.
We all like fires and we all like waterfalls
and the brown days when the gulls chase unseen
excitement over the fields.

Colleen Thibaudeau, 1969

Postcard of Skógafoss, a waterfall on the Skógá River in Iceland, sent to Colleen by her friend Karin (1970)

Postcard of Skógarfoss, a waterfall on the Skógá River in Iceland, sent to Colleen by her friend Karin (Summer 1969)

"Skógafoss: One of the highest and most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland..."

“Skógarfoss: One of the highest and most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland…”

 

“There’s a waterfall in Iceland” was first published in Poetry (Chicago) CXV, 3 (Dec. 1969), 169. It also appears in The Artemesia Book (1991), available from Brick Books.

For more about Skógarfoss, see the Katla Geopark page: http://www.katlageopark.com/geosites/skogarfoss/

The Artemesia Book: Poems Selected and New, Brick Books, 1991.

The Artemesia Book: Poems Selected and New, Brick Books, 1991.

Colleen Thibaudeau’s “My granddaughters are combing out their long hair”

Colleen Thibaudeau’s “My granddaughters are combing out their long hair”

My granddaughters are combing out their long hair

my granddaughters are combing out their long hair sitting at night
on the rocks in Venezuela       they have watched their babes
falling like white birds from the last of the treetop cradles
they have buried them in their hearts where they will never forget
to keep on singing them the old songs

brought down to earth they use twigs, flint scrapers acadian
their laughter underground makes the thyme flower in darkness

my granddaughters are thin as fishbones & hornfooted but they are
always beautiful under the stars: like little asian paperthings
they seem to open outward into their own waterbowl

mornings they waken to Light’s chink ricocheting
off an old Black’s Harbour sardinecan.

Reduce them the last evangelines make them part of the stars.

my granddaughters are coming out by night combing their burr
coloured hair by the rocks and streamtrickle in Venzuela
they are burnt out as falling stars but they laugh
and keep on singing them the old songs.

Colleen Thibaudeau, 1977

“My granddaughters are combing out their long hair” is from The Artemesia Book (1991), available from Brick Books.

>>> Listen to Peggy Roffey read the poem here.

Colleen Thibaudeau, Summer 1977 in London, Ontario

Colleen Thibaudeau, Summer 1977 in London, Ontario

The Artemesia Book: Poems Selected and New, Brick Books, 1991.

The Artemesia Book: Poems Selected and New, Brick Books, 1991.

Brick Books’ Celebration of Canadian Poetry

Brick Books’ Celebration of Canadian Poetry

Brick Books 40th Anniversary Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qclaYEWuN3A

Brick Books 40th Anniversary Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qclaYEWuN3A

Congratulations to Brick Books on 40 years of publishing! For a closer look at Brick Books past and present, see Celebrating 40 Years of Publishing Canadian Poetry (YouTube).

Brick Books‘ year-long project “Celebration of Canadian Poetry” continues with Colleen’s poem The Glass Cupboard.

From Brisk Books' video "Celebrating 40 Years of Publishing Canadian Poetry" -- this photo of Colleen Thibaudeau appears at the 3:45 mark.

From Brick Books’ video “Celebrating 40 Years of Publishing Canadian Poetry” — this photo of Colleen Thibaudeau appears at the 3:45 mark.

Colleen Thibaudeau’s “Balloon” for National Poetry Month 2012

Colleen Thibaudeau’s “Balloon” for National Poetry Month 2012

To honour poet Colleen Thibaudeau (1925-2012), Colleen’s poem “Balloon” was displayed on a billboard near Stanley Street and Wortley Road in London, Ontario. The billboard was a joint project of Poetry London, London Public Library, and Brick Books, in celebration of National Poetry Month.

“Balloon” was first published in Colleen Thibaudeau’s book of concrete poems, Lozenges: Poems in the Shapes of Things, by the Alphabet Press in 1965.

April 14, 2012: “Balloon” by Colleen Thibaudeau, 1925-2012

April 14, 2012: “Balloon” by Colleen Thibaudeau, 1925-2012

April 14, 2012: Celebrating National Poetry Month. Jean McKay was on hand to play her fiddle.

April 14, 2012: Celebrating National Poetry Month. Jean McKay was on hand to play her fiddle.

 

April 4, 2012: Elizabeth Reaney celebrates her grandmother’s poem

April 4, 2012: Elizabeth Reaney celebrates her grandmother’s poem “Balloon”

© 2017 Colleen Thibaudeau