Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Before by Janette Pieloor

.......................© J Pieloor
.......................Published by Walleah Press
.......................Reproduced on The Tuesday Poem with permission

.......................Editor: P. S. Cottier
Janette Pieloor had her first collection, Ripples Under the Skin, published earlier this year by Walleah Press, who are producing attractive and compelling books.  The cover, reproduced here, incorporates a photograph of the poet as a child.

I asked Janette if a poem from the book could be featured here, and was delighted when she gave permission, and chose 'Before'.  The deceptively simple piece deals elegantly with the loss of a loved one, and plays with our perceptions of time. Here is the back story to the poem, as provided by Janette:

The inspiration for this poem was when a friend told me that she had been lighting a candle each night, following her separation from her lover… 

'I thought I’d like a candle light in my bedroom. I lit one on a stand on my desk which also had shelves above it with papers, notes, etc. My bed backed onto the desk. I dozed off. I think my cat came in and walked along the desk, as she usually did, and caused the candle to flare. I woke to the sound of crackling; saw the flame had reached the wicker cane basket with papers in it, on the shelf above. On the desk I had one of my grandmother's large decorated bathroom tiles as a stand for my cup of tea or glass of water. I grabbed the tile and dropped it over the wicker basket and smashed the candle, the fire put out. The tile broke in half. The smell of burning lingered and I never lit a candle again.' 

 Janette lives in Canberra and states that she enjoys the city's creative environment.  She is an active member of the poetry scene.  This debut book is marked by an arresting combination of longing and the quietly sardonic; the type of work that demands more than one reading.

It was a pleasure to attend the launch of the collection, where members of the poet's family read.  I hope that Ripples Under the Skin is followed by other books in the near future.  It can be ordered from Walleah Press.

Editor P.S. Cottier lives in Canberra, too far from the sea. 

In addition to today's feature be sure to check out the wonderful poems featured by the other Tuesday Poets, using our blog roll to the left of this posting. 


Kathleen Jones said...

Really powerful poem, PS - a great choice! Nice to have prose poetry for a change too. And I really liked the 'explanation' provided by the poet - it added another level.

Penelope said...

Yes, Kathleen, that's almost like a second poem, isn't it.

Helen Lowe said...

I enjoyed the emotional "unlayering", as opposed to unravelling, of the poem, and the way it tells a story. Thanks for featuring, Penelope, and to Janette for allowing you to share it with us on The Tuesday Poem.

Rachel said...

Wow, beautiful. I've started writing a poem recently. Could you please check it out on my blog please - missbloggerblog.blogspot.com

Tim Jones said...

I'm always intrigued by the terrain between poems and stories, and where (if anywhere) the dividing line falls between short-short stories and prose poems. To be honest, I didn't even think of this as a prose poem - it reads to me as a "poem poem" that just happens to have lines of even length.

All of which is not apropos of anything in particular, but does signal how much I liked its economy of thought, feeling and construction.

Helen McKinlay said...

I agree with Tim re the economy of this poem.I also like the use of the masculine pronouns. It's a little unusual and adds emphasis to the pathos of the poem.

Penelope said...

Janette would like to thank those who commented and notes that she has learnt more about her poem from the comments.

I am passing this on as she is having technical difficulties with commenting.

Ben Hur said...

I interpreted the poem as being about a lover who has died, but I guess the separation of lovers is often like a death.

I really enjoyed this.

And I love the cover of her book with her own child photo imbued within it. That is very cool!!!

Ben Hur said...

I'm glad that you can just tick that you are not a robot with this Captcha device now instead of attempting (and often failing) to identify blurry letters and numbers. Sometimes I was 100% sure I had read the letters and numbers correctly and it would still tell me I had failed. How disconcerting is that?

PSCottier said...

The one where you had to pick all the photos with street signs or cake or whatever was even worse, Andrew!