Other than here in a blog entry I wrote, or if you’ve read Richard Rohr’s book Breathing Underwater, I bet you have never heard of Carol Bialock. She’s a very unknown poet who wrote the poem I shared in the above entry which has quickly become one of my favourite poems of all time. To my great delight, Eric Muhr of Fernwood Press came across my blog entry and commented: “Fernwood Press is bringing out the new book on Carol's 90th birthday this next June. Email me for a pdf of the manuscript. I'd love to have you read it and write about it / share it with others if you like what you find there. Her poems are powerful!”
I immediately followed up with him and was so excited to get a pre-release copy of her book. I have read it through several times and keep finding poems that I like. You have to keep in mind that she is a poet, and that she uses words to push the boundaries of our thinking and challenge the way we see the world. That means some of her stuff doesn’t fit my evangelical world, but I do appreciate so much of what she writes and heartily recommend that when the book comes out in June you do your best to look through the whole thing.
Here’s a sample poem that I really love just to whet your appetite.
I tried to understand truth,
take hold, dust off, dissect, classify, label.
But before I could find its genetic code,
before I could take the trophy, triumphant,
the irresistibly real pinned me down,
held me close
and fed me at its breast.
That’s how I learned to
Poets are like shoes, some fit you better than others, and there are some that you just want to wear all the time. Carol Bialock has been that for me.