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Shards of Crystal

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Shards of Crystal reflects a dichotomy – the harshness and beauty of life. A metamorphosis of darkness to light, the poems in this book move readers to the brink then snatch them back.

Poems from Shards of Crystal have been published in Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Romania, Seychelles, Singapore and the USA. They have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, have won an international contest in Italy and have been the recipient of an Editor's Choice Award. The final poem in the book, “I Am”, was chosen by the former Parliamentary Poet Laureate as Poem of the Month for Canada.

98 pages, Paperback

Published November 16, 2018

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About the author

Fern G.Z. Carr

11 books10 followers

Fern G. Z. Carr is deeply honored to have her poetry orbiting the planet Mars aboard NASA's MAVEN spacecraft. She is a former lawyer, teacher and past President of both the local branch of the BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Project Literacy Kelowna Society. A Full Member of and former Poet-in-Residence for the League of Canadian Poets, this Pushcart Prize nominee composes and translates poetry in six languages including Mandarin.

Carr has been published extensively worldwide from Finland to Mauritius and has had her work recognized by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate. Other honors include: having been cited as a contributor to India's Prakalpana Literary Movement; her work taught at West Virginia University; her poetry set to music and performed by a Juno-nominated musician; and an online feature in The Globe and Mail.

Shards of Crystal, Carr's poetry collection, is available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca and Silver Bow Publishing.


Wikipedia Article about Fern G. Z. Carr

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Profile Image for Cynthia.
Author 13 books32 followers
December 9, 2018
I’ve been a fan of Fern G. Z. Carr’s work for years, whether it’s orbiting Mars or in literary journals through the globe. Now to have a whole melodic book of hers to curl up with by the fire under blankets and starlight is a rare winter treat.

Shards of Crystal is elegantly divided into digestible sections. The collection opens with slivers of healed suffering in Carr’s “All in the Mind” poems. Her juxtaposition of the human experience of lonely, invisible suffering with a profound desire to connect alludes to a growing female strength. Titles like “The Elusive Language of Trees” lure readers in. Carr is the embodiment of poetic precision, unafraid to master any style. In “The Elusive Language of Trees,” words stretch elegantly across the page like graceful ballerina limbs, wide, flowing, upturned, carrying the poem like wings of an eagle. A patient inner power emerges, guiding the reader to light. Carr teaches us to listen deeply, to allow her wisdom to comfort through struggles, as verse brings the contours of suicide, anorexia and dementia into concrete images, “She puts on yesterday's clothes/ and wonders what in hell/ she will do with the next/ twenty-four hours.” “Gone” speaks deeply to natural beauty and peace of mind eroded through violation, as well as to what “remains,” how scars wound and leave survivors hidden in daily battles, whether it’s post-traumatic stress disorder or other unseen burdens, the permanence of the damage when a person’s right to safety is ruptured. Carr portrays the intricacy of the shadows that remain so that readers can empathize with real hope based in knowledge, experience and service, a gift of healing to those who have overcome chasms of hidden pain and those who still suffer. It’s not a surprise that Carr is highly regarded, not only for her meaningful and skillful poetry, but also for her volunteer work for animal rights, literacy and other humanitarian causes.

The “Body Language” poems are deftly incarnate, conveying the heartbreak, powerlessness and empathy evoked in the kindness of hospital staff as a loved one undergoes treatments and diagnostics in lines such as, “doctors are politely paged/ to rush to the aid of the dying.” Carr captures a tone of graciousness and helplessness in the face of mortality.

Her empathy extends to animal lives as well. In the “Animalia” section, the collection progresses with sharp imagery that gets inside the reader, bringing the tragic loss of a puppy poisoned with strychnine to light in a way that draws readers all the way in to understand that every life matters, her imagery connecting us with the consequences of intolerance. Carr is a poet who is not afraid to use the whole page, whether it’s a concrete poem or an experimental, rhythmic compilation of fragments.

Poems through the sections, “Relatively Speaking,” “Tomorrow Is Cancelled” and “A Metamorphosis of Darkness to Light” make the ethereal tangible in works like “I Touch a Singing Ghost” and the final “I Am,” the all-encompassing, deep truth of enlightened permission to be. Her solid diction like “entropy” sets us free, strong and grounded, unafraid to speak our truths after journeying with her, harmonizing through “the essence/ of the eternal/ that thrums/ in a voice/ resonating/ with the musicality/ of stars.” Shards of Crystal is where precision and compassion meet to leave readers in awe, as brokenness enters light. Carr is a classic poet who will stand the test of time.
Profile Image for Carmelo Militano.
Author 10 books2 followers
December 17, 2018
The poems gathered here are powerful dark meditations on illness, the betrayal of the body, and suicide.The poems do not flinch and nor do they try and and find comfort in cliches. The poems are steel-eyed and uncompromising.
The natural world is equally savage and dark,( " Ducking' for example) and Mother Nature is far from being sweetness and light. There are also poems about the unexpected appearance of death, family, and the collection concludes with finding joy in the mystery of the self and contentment in waking to a quiet and peaceful morning.
Ezra Pound once said 'poetry is news that stays news.' Find the news about the vast and various contours of life here!
Profile Image for Stephen Karr.
9 reviews9 followers
March 17, 2019
Fern Carr’s fantastic new book of Poetry, Shards of Crystal, takes on an emotional, largely introspective journey from darkness to light. It explores human connection in the mist of gloom. Many of the poems speak achingly of pain and loss. Lost is a moving and beautiful call for compassion when someone you love is experiencing darkness. Who Will Weep For Me examines a thought I have considered –- will I be missed when I pass on; will I be remembered? Oil Spill importantly speaks to human complicity in environmental degradation. It reminds us of our carelessness and need to do better. I Am is an affirmation of existence in all it’s beauty and chaos. Not Yet is a recognition of the finite natures of our lives. Overall, I find this book by Fern Carr to be a powerful reminder of the value of life and existence in all its nuances and dualities. I highly recommend it.
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