[Reviewed by Jaylan Salah]
Oh, what sweet torture.
This sentence sprang to my mind the moment I began reading Janine Canan’s inspirational poetry collection “In the Palace of Creation.” Why I felt that way will be explained in the paragraphs to come.
“In the Palace of Creation” contains selected poems by Janine from the years 1969-1999. It is divided into 8 sections. Section 7 contains poems translated from other poets’ works and the last section contains the conclusion to all the mystery and enquiry of the previous poems. The thing with good poetry is that it always leaves the door open. It never gives us direct answers or puts a full stop at the end of the sentence. It’s a spontaneous process of living the experience without expecting anything from it. That’s what I felt with Janine’s poetry.
In the beginning, you stand at the door of Canan’s “Abandoned Garden”. You are hesitant and afraid, unsure of what to expect. But as you go through the lines and immerse yourself in the exquisite beauty, you realize that you’re just a pilgrim, finding your Mecca at Janine’s feet. She is the Goddess, the Mother of All and we’re all praying females, drinking from the river of her individuality and strength. Throughout the whole book, you lose your materialism and turn into one of Canan’s birds. You’re the Eagle in “Two Eagles”, losing your shyness and flying away into the sky. You’re the woodpecker that drums upon the hemlock tower in “Forest Temple”. You will scream your lungs away as a peacock in “Stubborn Rose”.
Jaylan Salah is a freelance writer and Synchronized Chaos contributor from Alexandria, Egypt. You may reach Salah at firstname.lastname@example.org.