Blue in this Country

Blue in this Country, by Zoe Landale

Blue in this Country

by Zoë Landale


  • Spring 2001
  • ISBN 978-0-921870-81-4 (0-921870-81-7)
  • 6″ x 9″ Trade Paperback, 88 pages
  • Poetry

Zoë Landale’s new collection of poetry is remarkable for its fusion of rocky hardness with the luminosity of coastal British Columbia. As a poet, Landale has the lyric ability to evoke the particular with such warmth and grace that one cannot help becoming aware of a spiritual dimension, as when she says:

Daily we swirl over our ordinary shoulders
the cloak of prophecy
with becoming.

The B.C. coast is the setting for Landale’s account of the domestic world, with its warmth of hearth and heart. She describes the joy of parenting, animals, and the pleasure of baking. But the domestic scene can also overwhelm the woman at its centre, causing her days “to grow swollen / as cauliflowers [dangling] like distorted skulls / at the end of each arm.”

Within her interior settings, Landale carves out the ambiguous space of adult love that causes joy and pain, sometimes at the same time — “we cuddle,” she says, “and cannot close / the salt gulf of the bed.” Yet always in Landale’s poetry, the pain of the “salt gulf” is described with such grace that the language itself offers healing power. The poems ultimately refuse the negative; their beauty empowers the listener.

“Landale’s enormous talent is in full flower . . . a powerful display of wisdom and hope.”
— Tom Wayman

“Zoë Landale is the female counterpart of Robert Lowell.”
— Canadian Poetry

Also by Zoë Landale