Book of Changes, The

By Madeline Sonik

Book of Changes, The
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In her second volume of poetry, Madeline Sonik creates poetry through the contemplation and inspiration of the abstruse symbols encountered in the ancient oracular Chinese text, the I Ching (The Book of Changes). The interplay of concept and image that the I Ching offers, as ... Read more


Overview

In her second volume of poetry, Madeline Sonik creates poetry through the contemplation and inspiration of the abstruse symbols encountered in the ancient oracular Chinese text, the I Ching (The Book of Changes). The interplay of concept and image that the I Ching offers, as well as the non-causal worldview it implicates, presents a unique place of poetic inquiry. Carl Jung used the I Ching as a method of exploring the unconscious, and pointed out how it worked by allowing chance details to "enter into the picture of the moment of observation and form a part of it. " This is what Sonik has attempted to do in each of the 64 poems that correspond to the I Ching's hexagrams. She also uses the I Ching as a feminist writer, for although it gives credence to intuitive and synchronistic ways of knowing which, in Western cultures, are associated with the feminine--the work is predominantly masculinist in that it foregrounds issues of male power, as well as occupations and concerns that have traditionally excluded women. Sonik compensates for the lack of feminine presence in the I Ching by projecting into the hexagrams a personal experience of womanhood, where autobiographical elements are at liberty to dialogue with proverbial wisdom. Through this conversation, readers will discover a deeper understanding of what it means to be both human and female.

Madeline Sonik

Madeline Sonik's first collection of short fiction, Drying the Bones, was released by Nightwood Editions in 2000. She is the co-editor of the recently released anthology Entering the Landscape (Oberon) and in 1998 identified a new direction in Canadian writing with the anthology Fresh Blood: New Canadian Gothic Fiction (Turnstone Press). Her fiction and poetry have appeared in major literary magazines, including Event, Grain, Pottersfield Portfolio, The New Quarterly and Descant. She holds an MA in Journalism and is currently an MFA candidate at The University of British Columbia. She is also a black cord priestess of 13th House Mystery School and a practicing witch.

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