Spain Remembers

Spain Remembers

Sunday, October 21, 2007


By Rona Shaffran

Come walk with me
through the tall grass
to the edge of the world,

where the coastline
careens away untamed
into the rousing sea below the volcano,
that hulk fuming against a swollen sun.

Come with me,
climb that black back
breathless, our feet quivering
on the earth
as the underground roar rises.

There we are,
bayonets of flame leap up,
pierce the smoky clouds,
edge them florescent orange.

Then, all at once,
in celestial counterpoint,
a silver-white shooting star
plummets past us,
blazing a trail of golden light.

stay here with me
all the night through,

at the edge of the world.

© Rona Shaffran
Rona Shaffran is an Ottawa poet. She has been published in and won Honourable Mention in the John Newlove Poetry Award 2006, for her poem Burnt Forest. The poem featured here is part of her first collection of poetry, due to be published by Fall 2008. Rona Shaffran’s poems have been read in Australia, at the Melbourne Poets Society 2005 and International Poetry Festival in 2006, and exhibited there in conjunction with five life drawing exhibitions. Her poems has also been translated into Italian and read in Italy


The Butlerian Jihad by Brian Herbert and KevinAnderson. Brian Herbert is the son of Frank Herbert, author of the Dune series. This book is a prequel to the series. “Good battle scenes and a killer plot,” says Paul Gooding, Confederation College teacher.

Brian Spare of the Writers’ Circle is reading historical fiction right now. “I like Steven Pressfield and Mary Renault.”

Bonnie Gauthier, Club Manager at Curves on Arundel Street likes To Russia with Fries, by George Cohon and David Macfarlane. Cohen, the senior chairman of McDonald's Canada, wanted to raise the golden arches in a corner of the world untouched by Big Macs. His account describes how he finally succeeded in opening the world's largest McDonald's just blocks from Red Square.

Norma McCracken, a member of the No-stress Book Club, loved Human Amusement by Wayne Johnson. “Wild and crazy,” she says. Also not set in Newfoundland.

Fellow book club member, Hilke Grunys, laughed at Kafka’s Soup by Mark Crick, a good recipe book and spoof on great literature. Luckily for us, we not only have Kafka’s directions for miso soup but also Jane’s Austen’s for tarragon eggs. Nearby, Marcel Proust prepares Tiramisu and Raymond Chandler presents Lamb with Dill Souce. But the main dish has to be the Marquis de Sade’s stuffed poussins.

My pick is a children’s book, The Boy from the Sun by Thunder Bay’s Duncan Weller. A charmer with marvelous illustrations that get more intense as the book goes on. This is a story about the joys of life blended with an environmental sub text. A great Christmas gift for a preschooler or first reader.
Weller is short listed for the Governor General’s award along with Jean Pendziwol’s Marya’s Skis. Pendziwol is also a Thunder Bay-ite.

Both Pendziwol and Weller were signing books at The Finnish Book Store on October 20.

I also loved The Right Attitude to Rain by Alexander McCall Smith. This is the third book in the Isabel Dalhousie series. Here Isabel, an Edinburgh philosopher, solves her love problems. Meandering and slow and held together by the most tenuous of plot, the book just drags you in as do all McCall Smith’s books.

BOOK PRICES. Although The Hudson’s Bay Company (which includes Zellers) is lowering prices to reflect the power of the loonie, Heather of Chapters has not stirred. If you are a mega book buyer, it is almost worth going to Barnes and Nobel at the Miller Hill Mall in Duluth or, closer, Drury Lane in Grand Marais. Savings run from 10$ and up and are especially good on audio books.
Meanwhile, Heather, an admirer of Ayn Rand, has further dehumanized Chapters by removing all the comfortable chairs. To see a wonderful bookstore in operation, hit McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg – easy chairs, a fine restaurant, outstanding magazine selection and, duh!, books.

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