BC Poetry 2018: "Trailer Park Elegy" by Cornelia Hoogland (Harbour Publishing)

Trailer Park Elegy

What did Tecumseh mean when he said, 
You have all the time there is?
He was speaking to English generals,
to Brock; it was 1812, the war on.

On tidal flats, shifting sand, is time water,
now liquid, now frozen, now falling?
Cycles, seasons, geology? Can time fix
into place, seal at the edges, become memory?
Can time be lost? My body a container
of loss? Memory embedded in my tissue
like trauma or fat; now excavated, retrieved?

                                Not even a writer
alone on the edge of the sea is enough
removed. I speak in dashes
                                water closes over

with a clap. Beach logs rush in with the storm.


Cornelia Hoogland's Woods Wolf Girl (Wolsak and Wynn, 2011) was a finalist for the ReLit Award for Poetry. Her story "Sea Level" was shortlisted for the 2012 CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize. Cornelia serves on national and international literary boards, and was the founder and artistic director of Poetry London and, most recently, of Poetry* Hornby Island, on the BC Gulf Island she calls home. Trailer Park Elegy is her seventh book.


In response to her brother's sudden death, Cornelia Hoogland explores the shift in gravity his dramatic absence creates. Set on the Salish Sea on Vancouver Island's east coast, Trailer Park Elegy reaches back two thousand years to the First Peoples, as well as to the brother whose delight was summers spent at Deep Bay.


Arrived September 2017.


Purchase from the Harbour Publishing website or at your local bookstore. $18.95.


Reaching back.

The copyrights of all poems included in the series remain with their authors, and are reprinted with the permission of the publishers.

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