Monday, 8 July 2019

@amreading Rayanne Haines, Stained With The Colours of Sunday Morning.

Did you know that a family epic can be written in 60 poems? Rayanne Haines has managed this astonishing feat. In a slim book of poems she tells us the story of three generations of women – Georgia, Isabella, and Alina, whose Italian heritage lives on in Canada. All of life is contained in these verses: sex (my skin carries the spices/ of men I’ve made love to), marriage (don’t ask the wild women heart in me to bend), the mother-daughter relationship (my angry daughter, unreachable by me), even the Canadian weather: We wondered if the earth/was trying to finish herself off./ Each February was the same./Our bodies desperate/for the lush wine blood of the sea.

My personal favourite: Questioning Birds

in italy my grandmother

had two canaries

housed in separate cages

so they would sing to the other

…released only occasionally

from their shackles

for a brief taste of flight

i never understood

why they let themselves

be controlled  confined

why they did not rebel

               remain silent in protest.  

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