Once When I Wasn't Looking by Geraldine Ryan-lushOnce When I Wasn't Looking by Geraldine Ryan-lush

Once When I Wasn't Looking

byGeraldine Ryan-lush

Paperback | January 4, 2007

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In Once When I Wasn't Looking, Geraldine Ryan-Lush has crystallized the purity of human experience and emotion for its imprint on the human condition, shaped by personhood and the environment. Beyond the resonance of richness in the unadorned framing of the simplicity and freshness of rural roots, and certainly not transcending it, the poems are layered and textured with often poignant, and real, interaction of womankind, and the complexities of man/woman/love, which give them extra dimension and universality. Above all, she has attempted to encapsulate the bullet force of truth.
Geraldine Ryan-Lush was born and raised in St. Joseph´s, St. Mary´s Bay, Newfoundland. A teacher, she holds a Bachelor of Arts (Education) degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her body of published works include many scholarly articles, stories and poetry published in various periodicals and literary journals across Canada....
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Title:Once When I Wasn't LookingFormat:PaperbackDimensions:70 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.2 inPublished:January 4, 2007Publisher:Borealis PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0888873344

ISBN - 13:9780888873347

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fresh and Unencumbered I found this book of poetry to be an elegias, witty, and loving look at surviving, and celebrating, the bare-boned rural growing. Her poems are as fresh and unencumbered as a daisy in summer. From homebirth to haunting love to hanging out at cliff-top snack-bars, Ryan-Lush's characters are resilient, nubile, true, and full of a driving, yet muted sweetness.
Date published: 2007-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fresh and Unencumbered An elegias, witty, and loving look at surviving, and celebrating, the bare-boned rural life. Her poems are as fresh and unencumbered as a daisy in summer. From homebirth to haunting love to hanging out at cliff-top snack bars, her characters are resilient, nubile, true, and full of a driving, yet muted sweetness.
Date published: 2007-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lyrical Free Verse Very pleasing A transplanted mainlander with roots to the Irish Loop of NL, I had to pick up this book! Inside I found a goldmine of beautiful, arresting poetry from an already accomplished author born and raised in St. Mary's Bay. This book left me replete, and wanting more. Her themes are interwoven in a simplicity that is at first glance almost childlike, but a second look shows a crafting indicative of a highly skilled poet whose instinctive voice is oblivious of, and not burdened by, outside forces or scholarly opinions. Take "Kevin," a poem dealing with the young rake from the wrong side of the tracks. The intro sets the scene: Fish cakes, homemade bread, date squares or lemon meringue pie- pick your choice- dished up with dire diatribes of the rules for boarding girls.... Ryan-Lush's themes of spartan coming-of-age, womanhood, vagaries of love past and present are tongue-in-cheek, witty and poignant. She tells stories in her poems, and presents us with delightful images as sharp and imagistic as an old box camera's snaps. The lyrical movement of "Sunday on the Meadow," with the mother "whispering in a voice unnaturally grand", is a summer waltz in itself. Some of the lines in her poems can stop you short in their eloquence: Jukebox jives/ greased-up guys/ and a wild-haired woman/ with merchant eyes/ running the show/ from the mottled glow / of a 15-watt/ (P.52) scaled the cracks and crevices of youth (p.42) my grandmother crossed the kitchen floor/ her swollen ankles spreading like yeastbread/ over her shoes/ (p5) and the awakening epiphany of the grandmother's sacrifice : when I was a child/ my cousins dared me / to throw mud/ at her sheets on the clothesline/ I wish I hadn't done that. (p.5) The confidence in Ryan-Lush's phrasing, and the seemingly effortless ease in which she writes can often detract from the sheer beauty, clarity, and brevity of her poems, almost prettifying them. But make no mistake, this is highly literary work...spare, precise, sweet, elegias, and elegant.
Date published: 2007-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More To This Poet Elizabeth Bishop the poet held that all poetry is a way of thinking with one's feelings. In this Geraldine Ryan-Lush succeeds very well in this first volume of poetry. Known chiefly foe her celebrated children's books, she is surely breaking new ground in this extensive collection of adult poetry. There is an exquisite urgency to the joy, tortured and otherwise, in lines such as "penguined feet fly on rusty blades one end to the other," (The Pond By The Side Of The Road), "window sashes rise/ old men are sweating/ young ones are slicked/ nicotined/ james dean/ (Threading The Needle) that is reminiscent of the likes of Theodore Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz," among others. There is the righteous, stubborn pride of love's labour lost in "I always knew you were good at GIVING orders/ now I know you are excrutiatingly good / at taking them/ re the sea captain who never got back to her (Orders) . There is the ingrained, well-practiced protection and fear of becoming vulnerable in "you can take back your card and expensive gifts/ I don't wear superficiality very well/ (New Year's Eve 2002), and shades of a battered woman in "there's a built-in CD player/ on which she plays John Clayderman/ while she motors around suburbia/ thank God for all night Dominions/ (Apathy Ascendant). There is a multitude of themes and motifs, but one element keeps shining through. There is a lot to this poet. She has only scratched the surface in this impressive collection.
Date published: 2007-05-06