Sensorial

By (author): Carolyne Van Der Meer

Sensorial is a journey in sensory perception. The senses guide us through urban landscapes, animal connections and familial bonds as we consider who we are, where we are?both physically and metaphysically?and what truly matters. Sensorial proposes one set of responses to the never-ending data we process as we navigate through life. In particular, it considers aging and illness on the journey towards life’s end?and examines gain and loss in the aggregate.

AUTHOR

Carolyne Van Der Meer

Carolyne Van Der Meer is a journalist, public relations professional and university lecturer. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in English Literature from University of Ottawa and Concordia University respectively, and a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for Writers. Her journalistic articles, essays, short stories and poems have been published internationally. She is the author of Motherlode: A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experience, published in 2014. Journeywoman is her first volume of poetry. She is currently at work on a young adult fiction novel. She lives in Kirkland, Quebec.

Reviews

“Some things you just can’t know”
?so begins Sensorial, a three-part meditation on our role as both spectator and participant in a world of inequity and injustice. Each poem is a finely wrought tableau where “sensations galvanize” and absolutes have no part. At the heart of the collection is a daughter’s complicated relationship with her father and the myriad prisms of that relationship. Tackling a wide range of personal and social themes from loneliness to homelessness to disease and death and the “fault lines[s]” of marriage, Van Der Meer combines a keen narrative sense and an eye for imagery to produce a fine collection infused with compassion and hope.”

?Carolyn Marie Souaid, author of The Eleventh Hour and Yasmeen Haddad Loves Joanasi Maqaittik

“Among the best poets writing in Canada today, Carolyne Van Der Meer shares the genius of Margaret Avison in bringing together the spiritual and the mundane, sometimes in startling juxtaposition. Her technical dexterity is unequalled, as she ranges from writing so terse the words sting, to writing so flowing they sing. Lines often break in the middle without notice, in a kind of subversive caesura. Form follows function; less is invariably more. In “Pantoum for the Homeless,” she turns a rigid archaic verse form into a fluid and intimate account of a life gone pathetically wrong. Sharing details of a menu in Montreal, thoughts while eating pizza on the Champs Élysées, she hovers between the particular and the universal, sharing uneasy familiarity with both. Thoroughly cosmopolitan, she evokes in a few words a story behind tea at Harrods more haunting than the touching story we’re told. Sometimes unnervingly personal she shares with searing directness an unspoken dialogue at her father’s deathbed that rivals Dorothy Livesay’s last words to her own father, Irving Layton’s to his mother. Sensorial arouses the senses, but also, evoking the title’s homophone, it is censorial, confident in exposing the ambiguities of moral judgment. Each poem stands on its own, yet each speaks to the others. Seldom has a collection of diverse poems conveyed such a remarkably unified sensibility. Carolyne Van Der Meer is in her prime, and long may she be so.”<>br>?John Moss, author of The Invisible Labyrinth and other books

Sensorial is a finely-wrought odyssey of grief, memory, and experience that takes the reader from a mythical Atlantis to North and South America and throughout Europe, igniting our manifold senses with the “ritualistic seduction” of saltimbocca, Chianti, gelato, and fine perfume. Whether in Catholic Belfast, Italy, Barcelona, Paris, or Manhattan, Van Der Meer’s eye for observational detail is exquisite, as is her heightened awareness of the forgotten and exiled among us, particularly in touristic cultures. What constitutes a “foreigner” in a globalized landscape, and how does grief make one a foreigner in one’s own country? Artfully navigating between “age-old wars,” the fine arts, and religious observance, Van Der Meer locates tenderness in unexpected places (rescue from peril by a stranger on a bus in Mexico, a gift of oxblood boots, shampooing her mother’s hair while listening to Bach), and chronicles with wry wisdom born of love and loss the “generosity and cruelty to be discovered in all.” Yet, with characteristic grace, she offers us a heart made light and “leavened by the host,” transported from the timeworn paths of personal and world history to a dazzling beyond, “preparing me/ for what I’ve never known.”
?Virginia Konchan, author of Any God Will Do and The End of Spectacle


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Sensorial is a journey in sensory perception. The senses guide us through urban landscapes, animal connections and familial bonds as we consider who we are, where we are?both physically and metaphysically?and what truly matters. Sensorial proposes one set of responses to the never-ending data we process as we navigate through life. In particular, it considers aging and illness on the journey towards life’s end?and examines gain and loss in the aggregate.

Reader Reviews

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Details

Dimensions:

100 Pages
1in * 1in * 0.3in
1lb

Published:

May 31, 2022

Country of Publication:

CA

ISBN:

9781771338905

Book Subjects:

POETRY / Women Authors

Featured In:

All Books

Language:

eng

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