Coal and Roses by P.K. Page

>> Sunday, May 3, 2009

Coal and Roses by PK Page
Coal and Roses is P.K. Page's newest book of poetry. It includes a collection of twenty-one glosas, and is published by Canadian publisher Porcupine's Quill.

The glosa form opens with a quatrain, borrowed from another poet, that is then folowed by four ten-line stanas terminating with the lines of the initial passage in consecutive order. The sixth and ninth lines rhyme with the borrowed tenth. Glosas were popular in the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries among poets attached to the Spanish Court.

P.K. Page's glosas are highly readable and enjoyable - one does not need a degree in English literature to understand and enjoy them. My particular favourite in this book is "How to Write a Poem" which builds off of a quatrain of John Ashbury's "Paradoxes and Oxymorons" It was one of the three glosas read by writer Andrea Johnston at yesterday's book launch.

Page did not attend the dedication and book launch, although several family members were there, and she did record a video which was viewed as part of the dedication ceremony.

The Colloquium Room in which most of the classes and meetings for the Trent University English Public Texts M.A. program are held is now officially called the Page Irwin Colloquium Room. It was a beautiful room already, but is even more remarkable now that it includes several of PK's paintings - and my favourite piece, which is an embroidered work that PK's mother did of some of her childhood drawings.

There was another book launched at the same event. This one is gorgeous but was way out of my price range, unfortunately. It is called The Golden Lilies, Poems by PK Page, and is a limited edition:

Hand-set 18 point Cloister Old Style type printed on St. Armand hand-made paper using a Vandercook #4 proof press. Wood engravings printed directily from the blocks on Iwami White hand-made Japanese paper, with a hand coloured frontspiece printed on Gampi Torinoko hand-made Japanese paper. Hand sewin into yellow linen hard covers. Binding by Taylor & Murdoch.

The book is truly a work of art and I would love to own a copy. Maybe someday!


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