Grace and Poison by Karen Connelly


Grace and Poison combines The Small Words In My Body and The Disorder of Love in one volume, and includes a long introductory essay that explores the connections between poetry and the learning of languages, between love for the earth and love of the body. Discussing the content of her early work, Connelly traces her journey from Western Canada to Asia to Greece, and finally, to home.

“To be split, as I feel split, between cultures, languages, countries, loyalties, is to nurse a curious, long-term fracture. It does not leave you, cannot, because it has become you. All of us are fragmented in more or less perceptible ways; many people have more than one language, one home, one allegiance, one truth. As confusing as that fragmentation and multiplicity can be, they also offer us a new way to understand our world and to approach the work of being engaged human beings. Though the poet healed herself by discovering a home in Greece, the disorder of love is not so neatly unravelled. By its very nature, it never will be. Slowly, wherever I live, I learn to find a peace within the complexity of what I am, what I was, what I am becoming.”