Sunday, 30 March 2008

Dream On - poetry by Chrystos

I have long been a fan of Chrystos' beautifully sensual love poetry and am currently reading her collection Dream On. Chrystos is an activist for lesbian and native American rights and often she is angry but she never lets her anger overwhelm her poetry. Her words are well controlled and she writes with true craft as well as passion. Images from the natural world pervade many of Chrystos' love poems, including Night Visits:

A path opens: My feet are rainbow wolves running
calling a cool song through the caves
down to the crystal blue pool

Dream On also includes a number of poems that specifically address environmental issues, including Impact:

I wish I could give you the moment when
Eagle came back into view trailing Crows with the sun dancing
on the water near the very still meadow then you'd know
even one more building anywhere in america or the world
is too many


and Going Through

We can no longer see the wild grasses
whose love flew into our baskets
Trees weep brown who have always been green
their songs hunger for bears
We're lonely they cry
with no-one to rub their backs on us.

Chrystos is an important poet I think because she shows that craft does not need to be sacrificed in the face of strong emotion and that campaigning messages are better addressed through well crafted lyricism and heartfelt emotion more effectively than through slogans and rants. She also writes the most beautiful love poetry ever (really, you need to read her work!).

8 comments:

Jo said...

The 'I wish I could give you the moment when' piece is exquisite. I will look her up. Thanks.

Selma said...

She sounds amazing. I'm also going to look her up. Thanks for the tip.

Janice Thomson said...

Wow Juliet - her poetry is fantastic! Such exquisite imagery. Thanks telling us about her.

amuirin said...

I think it's beautiful and generous how you highlight so many writers of merit in your space.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Amuirin - welcome and thanks, I jsut love sharing great books and writers I've discovered!

Jo, Janice, Selma, do look her up - I'm sure you'll enjoy!

Gowri said...

Hi Juliet,

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Lovely samples of poetry here. Very touching. The love and concern for nature is so subtly expressed. Thanks for introducing this inspiring poet to us.

skylarmahal said...

hello, so exciting that more wonderful people discover Chrystos' work. I have most of her books and she is thrilling, moving and incredibly erotic on the highest levels of great word craft.

Does anyone know how we can contact her to buy copies of her work?? There is a woman owned store here in North Park San Diego, Ca. that wants to carry - and sell - her books. peace, power, and pleasure! and the wisdom to know the difference!! skylar

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Skylar - the only online resource I have found for her is this page: http://www.ipl.org/div/natam/bin/browse.pl/A153 - all her books are listed there. Hope that is some help!