The Ground of Events


80 pages
ISBN 1-55128-009-4
DDC C811'.54





Reviewed by Sheila Martindale

Sheila Martindale is poetry editor of Canadian Author and Bookman and
the author of No Greater Love.


The title poem of this collection begins “old smiles are taped / to
the hum of the fridge,” which is typical of the evocative images and
spare language Carey employs. Her poems explore relationships (“Marie
in the laundromat / tipping a washer on its edge / banging it down /
down twice / like her marriages”), religion (“the man at the altar /
forgiving the world / in an eternity / of Latin”), memories (“the
hugeness of water / around my six years”), and many other aspects of
life, particularly as they apply to women.

There is a precision and thoughtfulness throughout the book, which
includes an introductory poem followed by three sections—“being of
this world,” “the calculated aperture,” and “the stations of the
body.” The use of lower-case letters emphasizes the understated tone
that prevails, but also heightens its impact. These are strong poems
that make their points without ranting or sentimentality. Love is never
sappy, the end of a relationship is never the end of the world, and
humanity is examined with objectivity. The poems in this collection are
like candies that suddenly explode after they have been in your mouth
for a while.


Carey, Barbara., “The Ground of Events,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024,