The Colour of Clouds features poems that focus on the Greater Toronto area which includes a variety of towns, hamlets, cities and landscapes with a rich history and culture. In a poetic and introspective style, this book explores the loss of our links to the past and how the pace of development threatens the beauty of our heritage, both built and natural. Featured in the poems are writers from Stephen Leacock to Lucy Maude Montgomery to Mazo de la Roche, and artists such as Milne, Gladstone, Varley and Macdonald who were inspired by the landscapes of these regions. The central themes in this collection are: losses and gains over time in the places where we reside; the interplay between our natural world and the built environment; and the often tenuous connection between the present and the past in the spaces that we inhabit; and ecofeminist theories relating to the exploitation of the natural world and the significant connection of women to nature.
Linda Martin is the co-author of seven non-fiction books, many on the theme of popular culture, especially in the context of female experience. She has also scripted and directed two documentary films, one featuring organic farmers in Ontario and the other about an independent movie theater complex and museum in cottage country Ontario. Linda has worked as a Librarian in Vancouver, Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. She lives in Toronto. The Colour of Clouds is her debut poetry collection.
"In Linda Martin's lovely collection, The Colour of Clouds, we are presented with images that deftly record fragments of lives and landscapes throughout the greater-Toronto-Hamilton-area. These are storied places, rich with significant figures and moments in time. The poems are intimately reconstructed from what remains of culture, of nature and of individual narrations. In amongst the simulacra of subdivisions and contemporary forgetting, this significant body of work not only documents earlier generations, but also challenges us to reflect upon our own histories. Each finely constructed poetic moment leans forward, first in demonstrating the relationship that has been established between it and the writer's personal experience and then, through Martin's beautiful and economical combination of narrative, symbol and connection, into the world of the reader."
--Lucy E.M. Black, author of The Marzipan Fruit Basket, and Eleanor Courtown
"Linda Martin's The Colour of Clouds leads us through an exploration of the Ontario small towns surrounding Toronto and the "disrupted landscapes" of that countryside today. The poet, in careful well-crafted detail, reveals the stories and secrets of historical figures and landmarks from the past--a time when "time expanded." She surprises us, too, with her own present-day discoveries, and gifts us with intriguing lines such as "today the mood is bluegrass," or a memorable image like "a whiff of clover from the last scrap of exhausted field." This is an original, timely, and impressive poetry collection."
--Marilyn Potter, author of Leave-Taking
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