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Toward a Catalogue of Falling

Toward a Catalogue of Falling

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Toward a Catalogue of Falling

103 pagine
36 minuti
Sep 15, 1996


Shortlisted for the 1997 Pat Lowther Award and for the 1997 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award

Toward a Catalogue of Falling, Meira Cook's second full-length book, proves that the fall into language can be both graceful and startling. Whether she is rewriting Hans Christian Anderson's "The Little Mermaid" (as she does in her poem sequence "Days of Water"), thinking of Breughel's/Williams'/ Auden's Icarus, reading oranges, or offering advice for catching crows, Cook's words are luminous. Language is a character in these poems, along with circus performers, Venetian tour guides, clumsy sons and migrating geese. Cook writes poems that bless hearts turned to salt, and revive the silenced energies of words. Always unexpected, always elegant, this is language that endures.
Sep 15, 1996

Informazioni sull'autore

Méira Cook has published three previous poetry collections with Brick Books. Her poetry has won first place in the CBC Literary Awards, and a poem from this collection won the inaugural Walrus Poetry Prize. Her first novel, The House on Sugarbush Road, won the McNally Robinson Manitoba Book of the Year Award. Her second novel, Nightwatching, was published in May 2015. She lives, writes, and talks to herself in Winnipeg.

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Anteprima del libro

Toward a Catalogue of Falling - Méira Cook

Toward a Catalogue of Falling

Towards a Catalogue

of Falling

Méira Cook

Brick Books


Cook, Méira, 1964-

    Toward a catalogue of falling


ISBN 978-1-771310-96-3

1. Title.

PS8555.0567T68 1996       C811'.54       C96-931595-3

PR9199.3.C66T68 1996

Copyright © Méira Cook, 1996.

The support of the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts

Council is gratefully acknowledged.

Cover is after a photograph by the author.

Brick Books

Box 20081

431 Boler Road

London, Ontario

N6K 4G6


To my parents, Chana and Chonie

and to Aviva


Diptych I

Diptych II

Legends of Tongue

In Pendulum of Green

Too Ripe for Skin

Legends of Tongue

Slip of the Tongue I

Slip of the Tongue II

Slip of the Tongue III

Last Fall

The Ruby Garrote

gaudy she stands on one leg

petco the ringmaster stares at the world

rosie envies the stability of tables

the clowns are dying all over the world

rosie hunkers in her body

the beast has found me out at last

you are going to have to let

always announced in the dark

let's us two go halvsies

amongst her mirrors my lady

four lions trained but not tamed

The Fallen Here

Fairytales from the Old Country

Any Old Skin

Fooling the Jasmine

The Fallen Here

Such a Long Way

String Quartet

Prima parte moderato

Seconda parte allegro

Recapitulazione della prima parte moderato

Coda legato molto

Days of Water

For Breath & Glass

All Day

When you open a door in a street

Here in Venice

Toward a Catalogue of Falling

Vertical cities

Some Place

Epigrams for Breath & Glass


Light, moving

Worn Through

Various Blues

Into Category

Water, falling

Reading Oranges

Following Herself


Rumours of Bear

Like Rain

Bestiary in Three Parts

Diptych I

According to Brueghel when Icarus fell it was spring.

William Carlos Williams

Perhaps it is always spring

when we fall.

The first is easy, a gush

of green the blood

rising in high chambers

like sap. It is the other

that confounds

the falling.

To fall

in love asleep downstairs

of those three I have fallen

twice. The one is gentle

a laying on of hands, the other

hard my body clicking

open and shut, a turnstile.

But I have never fallen

as Icarus

from grace.

Poor Icarus who suffered

from hubris and oedipus

in equal measure, now

there is a fall for you.

Imagine wanting to please

daddy and snub god

at the same time.

No wonder he spun

into that blank ocean wax

dripping from the blades

of shoulders, legs scissoring

the seam of sea and sky.

But it was spring when Icarus


in love asleep downstairs

and out of the sky.

We have his legs to remember this by.

Diptych II

In Brueghel's Icarus, for instance; how everything

turns away

Quite leisurely from the disaster.

W. H. Auden

I turn and walk (quite leisurely)

from the canvas by

that mocking passionate com-

passionate man who painted

lepers and whores, burghermen

tax-collectors and fishwives

wet-lashed cripples

on the margins of the crowd

feast days and plunderings

interchangeably and the odd

rape as well as a pair

of well-shaped calves

kicking out negligently

from a painted ocean.

I turn and walk

away, you turn

with me

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