Jouvon M. Evans Book Review

Book Review – Crow in “The Lance”


By Jouvon M. Evans

Cornelia Hoogland’s Crow is a poetry collection set in five different sections of Haida Gwaii, B.C. Throughout the book, a single persona partnered with Ted and family, is constantly intersected with the crow, the image representative of the community.

That guiding persona is introduced in the poem titled “Writing with a Stick,” which carries the crow not as an image or a pet but as her familiar, distinct personality that teaches and accompanies her art. In “Tar Baby,” Hoogland shows the crow through a series of poems numbered by days and nights. In one of many instances that resemble familiar mythology, the crow outside wages an epic battle with its mirrored image while the artist wrestles her own battles within.

The crows come to represent the world at large, from the Iraq war to the family at home, who watches less fabled crows investigate the mirror in the garden. While we observe the crows fight, make nests and generally be the beasts of nature that they are, they form the myths that the community rests upon.

When the poetry is read all at once it provides a clean narrative about the artist and how the home, both physically and conceptually, creates art. This poetry book collects award-winning poems in a remarkable way, where the body of work is transformed when re-contextualized as part of the whole.

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