Friday, March 21, 2014

Maxianne Berger

Canada: A Lyric of Titles

Maple leaf rag,
that singing you hear at the edges,
what is to come . . .

Stranger music,
reasons for winter,
for love of the wind . . .

Whatever it is plants dream,
the shadows fall behind
snow formations --

the spaces in between
spaces between the trees,
temporary shelter.

The day is a cold grey stone,
one stone
suddenly, so much:

the stream exposed with all its stones;
fish bones
treading fast rivers;

the bridge that carries the road
when earth leaps up;
coastlines of the archipelago.

Swimming among the ruins,
we are the dreamers
reading the water,

the older graces
singing the flowers open,
counting out the millennium:

One leaf shaking.
Two shores.
More than three feet of ice.


Cento key

Maple Leaf Rag, Kaie Kellough (Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Pub., 2010)
That Singing You Hear at the Edges, Sue MacLeod (Winnipeg: Signature Editions, 2003)
What Is to Come: Selected and New Poems, George Johnston (Toronto: St. Thomas Poetry Series, 1996)

Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, Leonard Cohen. (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1993)
Reasons for Winter, Naomi Guttman (London, ON: Brick Books, 1991)
For Love of the Wind, Ray Shankman, (West Bay, NS: Medicine Label Press, 1991)

Whatever It Is Plants Dream, Richard Stevenson, (Fredericton, NB: Goose Lane, 1990)
The Shadows Fall Behind: Poems, Margo Button, (Lantzville, BC: Oolichan Books, 2000)
Snow Formations, Carolyn Marie Souaid, (Winnipeg: Signature Editions, 2002)

The Spaces in Between: Selected Poems, 1965-2001, Stephen Scobie, (Edmonton: NeWest Press 2003)
Spaces Between the Trees, Enos Watts, (St. John's, NL: Pennywell Books, 2005)
Temporary Shelter: Poems, M. Travis Lane, (Fredericton, NB: Goose Lane, 1993)

The Day Is A Cold Grey Stone, Allan Safarik, (Regina: Hagios Press, 2010)
One Stone, Barbara Pelman, (Victoria, BC: Ekstasis Editions, 2005)
Suddenly, So Much, Sandy Shreve, (Toronto: Exile Editions, 2005)

The Stream Exposed with All Its Stones: Collected Poems, D.G. Jones, (Montreal: Signal Editions, 2010)
Fish Bones, Gillian Sze, (Montreal: DC Books, 2009)
Treading Fast Rivers, Eleonore Schönmaier, (Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1999)

The Bridge That Carries the Road, Lynn Davies, (London, ON: Brick Books, 1999)
When Earth Leaps Up, Anne Szumigalski, (London, ON: Brick Books, 2006)
Coastlines of the Archipelago, Colin Morton, (Ottawa: BuschekBooks, 2000)

Swimming Among the Ruins, Susan Gillis, (Winnipeg: Nuage Editions, 2003)
We Are the Dreamers : Recent and Early Poetry, Rita Joe, (Wreck Cove, NS: Breton Books, 1999)
Reading the Water, Laurence Hutchman, (Windsor, ON: Black Moss Press, 2008)

The Older Graces, David Manicom, (Lantzville, BC: Oolichan Books, 1997)
Singing the Flowers Open, Allan Cooper, (Wolfville, NS: Gaspereau Press, 2001)
Counting Out the Millennium, John Oughton, (San Antonio, TX: Pecan Grove Press, 1996)

One Leaf Shaking: Collected Later Poems, 1977-1990, Robin Skelton, (Victoria, BC: Porcépic, 1996)
Two Shores: Poems = Deux rives: poèmes, Thuong Vuong-Riddick, (Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 1995)
More Than Three Feet of Ice, Brenda Schmidt, (Saskatoon: Thistledown Press, 2005)

Maxianne Berger, poet and literary translator, is active in both the French and the English haiku and tanka communities in Montreal and beyond.  Her writing meanders between the minimalism of Japanese forms and the unpremeditated outcomes of OuLiPo-style constraints. She is among those featured in Language Matters: Interviews with 22 Quebec Poets (Carolyn Marie Souaid & Endre Farkas, eds; Signature, 2013). She has authored two poetry collections and co-edited three anthologies -- one of haiku, in English, and two of tanka, in French. She also co-edits Cirrus, an online tanka journal in French. A dual-language collection of her own tanka is forthcoming.

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