On poetry and Jennifer

Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting. – Robert Frost

Where is poetry in our lives? Members of the Queen’s generation, who have left or will soon leave us, were required to memorize and recite poetry as part of their school curriculum. Many of them remember lines or whole passages of famous poems, even late into life. Perhaps this love of poetry instilled a strength of character, as poetry speaks a truth that helps a soul rudder a stormy sea. We need to support poets and to encourage our collective reading of poems.

Jennifer Lee is a poet who lives in Comox BC. She is loved by friends for her sense of humour and her compassionate ways. She brings others into more gratitude for nature and for poetry and, through her example, she encourages us into more creative expression. She is deeply reverent of the earth and her poetry is rich in vision and sound.

She has a busy work and family life, but moves through her days, particularly present and listening, as a poet does. When you walk with her in the forest, she points to the trees that rain down- long after it has ceased to rain, to the sounds in nature that lie under the sounds, and to the numinous light that reveals through all. Her poet words string like precious prayer beads, offering up a full range of feeling. She is always activated, but is somewhere still, allowing her to reach far within to find words that bridge experience to the invisible. To quote Carl Sandburg, she takes us to words that ‘…echo, asking a shadow to dance.”

She compliments her written poetry with still photography, performance and video poems. Her long poetry piece ‘Bone Woman’, was performed on Denman Island in 2010 to sold out audiences and standing ovations. In an abstract and visceral way, it journeyed the audience deep into the embrace of grief. Her husband, Blake, is involved in set design for her, and her daughter Rowan, has followed in Jennifer’s creative life, with her popular blog.

Below are images from the Bone Woman show, courtesy of Mike Van Santvoord. Also included is a photo of Jennifer in her role as the High Priestess in the Tarot Windows show, along with one of Jennifer’s photos of Rowan in the deer head designed by Kerri Davis.