Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What kind of poetry do we need today?

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself lately, so I’ve decided to take a shot at some possible answers.

Note that these answers come from a purely personal perspective, and have no merit to them, other than the pleasure that comes from writing them down in this blog.

1.  We need poems that speak of light and transparency.
Not the solid, clear cut, light of the sun at noon, the light of reason, the light of passion and will power in which Lucian Blaga’s poetry basks in his book titled The Poems of Light.

A different kind of light. A subdued and diffuse light – the light filtered by mists at dawn above brooks in the woodlands. Light overpowered by chillness and haze, gliding down over waters trickling downstream, casting shadows over wet stones.     

An open and cold light, a taciturn light, swathed in mother of pearl rags, at night, when we wait for the gong of a dream, lurking by the window, hidden behind curtains.

2. We need poems that speak of the intent to begin each day with unfettered confidence in who we are and who we can become, when all obstacles turn to dust, and the verses of this poetry become the energy and the blood that courses through our veins.

Easier said than done.  

Where can such poetry come from? Perhaps this poetry stems from the acknowledgment that each moment of a day is imperfect, and that every failure is an opportunity to start afresh – with honesty, and holding nothing back.

3. We need poems that speak of fluid rhythms. 

Have you noticed the fluidity of time that we perceive – its movements, subtle accelerations and its incoherent direction?

Time – hours and seconds, as if broken in tectonic plates, floating in a sea of uncertainty, almost a charade, on which we have no bearing?
This vagueness that makes us curious to capture its volatility…

4. We need poems that...

..the list is open, feel free to add to it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The difference between literature and journalism

"The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read."

-Oscar Wilde.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Love and The Berkeley Castle Gallery in Toronto - February 11th to February 22nd, 2010

The Berkeley Castle Gallery has just opened its doors inside a historic building in downtown Toronto, next door to The Canadian Stage Company and the Théâtre Français de Toronto (TFT) and in close proximity to Toronto's Distillery District.

On February 11th and 12th 2010, the gallery, currently run by Dianne Acey, AOCAD, has hosted a community art event, an exhibition dedicated to love and whose theme resonated with Valentine’s Day.

Dianne Acey, OCAD, who runs the Berkeley Castle Gallery.

The gallery received more than 100 submissions to be included in the exhibition - from the community in the area, friends of the gallery, George Brown College students in the Art explores Psychology classes, local artists and art lovers.

Karen McMillan, the curator of the exhibition, passionately describing the exhibits she selected. 

The curator of the exhibition, Karen McMillan, has told me of the many hours spent in selecting and arranging this very eclectic exhibition and of the decision making process of “what goes where” to fully bring forth the artistic message of….well, love.

In the end it all came together in a beautiful gallery space, whose structure invites to creative musings.

Leslie holding up her artwork

If I had to qualify this exhibition in a word, it would be “imaginative”.

The theme of love was rendered by contributors through exhibits created in various techniques and with unbridled creativity.

It was also a great opportunity for the community to come together.

I had the pleasure to chat with Dianne Acey and to find out of her vision for art in the community.
I met Christine Kim, a Studio Art major (Concordia University) whose painting “Binary” (36 by 24 inches , oil on canvas ) drew praise.

"Binary" (36" x 24", oil on canvas) by Christine Kim, Studio Art major (Concordia University)

Two picto-poems, “Englyn” and “Hiatus” - posters (30" x 20") from paintings by Tatiana and poetry by me were also part of the exhibition.


Two picto-poems by Tatiana and me.

Overall, exhilarating moments for the artists, friends and art lovers that enjoyed this exhibition put together by Dianne Acey and Karen McMillan with the help of volunteers. A beginning that bodes well for future similar cultural events.

So the celebration of art and love is alive and well  in Toronto. To quote one of the artists that were part of the exhibition – “love, a pink elephant in the room”.

The exhibition is open till February 22nd, 2010.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

A Midwinter Night's Dream with Molière

At the Théâtre Français de Toronto (TFT), Molière’s characters are embroiled in a midwinter night's dream, which runs to February 20th, 2010 and where English subtitles are available at many performances. 

The play in question is « Les Médecins de Molière » (Molière’s Doctors), which the TFT describes as a carefully orchestrated selection of scenes from Molière’s Le Médecin volant (The Flying Doctor) and Le Médecin malgré lui (The Mock Doctor). 

The text of Molière becomes an occasion for improvisation and dramatic creation in which a daring and original artistic approach blends in surprise and farce in an atmosphere of euphoria. 

The director of the play is Jean Stéphane Roy, Dominic Manca has created the set and lightning, Jean-Michel Ouimet has created the soundscape, Nina Okens the costumes, Annie Parkinson is responsible for the makeup, Tina Goralski is the stage manager and Janelle Rainville the production manager.

During the show, the actors prompt the public for words, words that they mix up in subsequent monologues and motions. 
A few scenes use marionettes.
The first of the two marionettes is extracted from of a box full of lights, an apparition I personally recorded with amazement and child-like enchantment.
Licentious allusions and gestures float in the air.
A collection of huge boxes acts as setting, backstage and dramatic revolving door.
It’s a show full of energy and movement in which the cast shines, and in which Chanda Legroulx, Sophie GouletNicolas Van Burek, Vincent Poirier and Pierre Simpson and Anie Richer delight the public with their inventive interpretations.

Molière’s text glitters in the limelight almost as an after thought to this dynamic performance….”Monsieur, the thrashing I had the honor of giving you…”

Here is the announcement - “bande-annonce” - posted on Youtube and interpreted by Vincent Poirier. 

The link to the blog of the French Theatre in Toronto can be found here:

and a few other moments from the preparation of the show can be viewed on Youtube:

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