Kaleidoscope is the first in a series of ten volumes to be published over the next ten years as a complement to an online hypermedia edition of the Collected Works of P. K. Page. Listed chronologically by date of composition, the poetry in Kaleidoscope is fluid, wondrous and technically exquisite, drawing on subjects great and small, and it offers a comprehensive look at one of Canada's most beloved and brilliant poets.
About the author
P. K. Page has written some of the best poems published in Canadaover the last five decades. In addition to winning the Governor General's awardfor poetry in 1957, she was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in1999. She is the author of more than a dozen books, including tenvolumes of poetry, a novel, selected short stories, three books for children,and a memoir, entitled Brazilian Journal, based on her extended stay in Brazilwith her late husband Arthur Irwin, who served as the Canadian Ambassador therefrom 1957 to 1959. A two-volume edition of Page's collected poems, The Hidden Room (Porcupine's Quill), was published in 1997. In addition to writing, Page paints, under the name P. K. Irwin. She has mounted one-woman showsin Mexico and Canada. Her work has also been exhibited in various group shows, andis represented in the permanent collections of the National Gallery ofCanada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Victoria Art Gallery, amongothers. P. K. Page was born in England and brought up on the Canadian prairies. She has livedin the Maritimes and in Montreal. After years abroad inAustralia, Brazil and Mexico, she now makes her permanent home in Victoria, British Columbia.
- Commended, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year
Excerpt: Kaleidoscope: Selected Poems (by (author) P.K. Page)
In the dream it was the seraphim who came
with eyes of aquamarine
and set my hair aflame
and spoke in a language which written down --
an elegant script of candelabras and chalices --
spelled out my name
but it was not my name
The mornings following were bright as wings
sky's intricate cirrus
the feathers under his wings
the wind's great rush
the bladed beat of his wings
Mare's tails traced the passage of his seraphic chariot
Hummingbirds ruby-throated roared and braked
in the timeless isinglass air and burned like coals
high in the fronds of a brass palm sunbirds sang
girasoles swung their cadmium-coloured hair
and I heard the seraphim telling once again
the letters of my name
but my name was lost in the spoken syllables
by Summer, 1976 1997
What the book presents is a poetic tour de force. It illustrates how firmly accomplished Page's work was from the beginning of her career.
'If you are interested in seeing the developments in the long career of an exemplary poet this book is a gem. If you want to celebrate World Poetry Day by enjoying the products of a fertile, original mind, again, this book is for you. As Page is a wonderful Canadian poet who needs to be even more widely read, this collection of her work is something I will be recommending for all poetry lovers for a long time to come.'
The Indextrious Reader
There's something in this collection to spark new interest, remind those familiar with her well-loved lines and introduce readers to her evolving style over the years. From the dazzling word-work of the early poems, to the gorgeous complexity of her glosas, her skill at fitting line to image and colour to sound is nothing less than stellar -- especially in the way she could make rhyme steep in the vowels and tickle at the back of the mind. Musicality and understanding of rhythm pervades her work. From her beginnings as a poet with an imagistic approach, to the broadening and deepening of the later years, these spiritual, seeking, overcoming poems are compelling. Privileging natural imagery and a disillusionment with contemporary obsessions, the poems reveal a poet who rarely falters.
St John Telegraph-Journal