Catherine Chandler

The Jumping-off Place

Imagining Edward Hopper’s Rooms by the Sea, with sincere apologies to Mark Strand, who believes such interpretive impulses are “misguided.”

Don’t search for me. Do not call 9-1-1.
Don’t say I’m missing. Please don’t text my friends.
Don’t hand out posters. Don’t claim I have run
Away. Spare me the boring repetends,
Those old how-could-yous, what-have-I-done-wrongs.
No beating of the breast. No fault. No blame.
No wringing of the hands. No prayers. No songs
Of praise and lamentation. All the same…

I’ve done—this one last time—the household chores:
Gleefully Febrezed the prim settee,
Hoovered the carpet, Pledged the chest of drawers,
Swiffered the kitschy wall print. As for me,
Call it caprice, a leap of faith, a whim.
Don’t drag the waters. I know how to swim.

Ode to Cassandra

English translation of Mignonne, allons voir si la rose (Ode à Cassandre) by Pierre de Ronsard, 1545

Dear, let us go observe the rose
Which, on this splendid morning shows
The Sun her radiant crimson gown,
And see if at dusk, one yet beholds
Each of her garment’s crimson folds,
Her fresh-faced blush so like your own.

Oh, but observe, in such short space,
Dear, she has at this very place
Let all her beauties pass away!
Oh, Mother Nature, truly cruel,
For such a lovely flower you’ll
Let live but for a single day!

So, Dear, believe my simple warning,
While all is green and fresh as morning,
Blossoming in your tender years,
Gather them, gather every flower:
Youth lasts but for a fleeting hour,
Beauty, with old age, disappears.


Catherine Chandler, Canadian poet, translator and editor, is the author of six poetry collections, including The Frangible Hour, recipient of the Richard Wilbur Award, Lines of Flight, shortlisted for the Poets’ Prize, and a historical verse-tale, Annals of the Dear Unknown, forthcoming from Kelsay Books. Her work has been published in numerous journals and anthologies worldwide. Chandler completed her postgraduate studies at McGill University, Montreal, where she lectured in the Department of Translation Studies until her retirement. Her poetry blog, The Wonderful Boat, is online at cathychandler.blogspot.com/.


Kris Beaver
Catherine Chandler
Mary Cresswell
Catherine Fitzpatrick
Nicole Caruso Garcia
Katie Hartsock
Jean L. Kreiling
Diane Lee Moomey
T. R. Poulson
Catherine Esposito Prescott
Carolyn Raphael
Claudia Schatz
Leslie Schultz


The Poetry by the Sea Spring Celebration is available for viewing on Youtube as a permanent memorial and tribute to Mezzo Cammin's founder, Dr. Kim Bridgford (1959-2020). Click here to watch.

The 2022 Poetry by the Sea conference will run May 24-27 2022.

My work contributes to the dialogue among feminist writers, historians, critics, and artists to define a space for creative work and agency for women. Through my figurative paintings, I challenge notions about the female body, redefine myths, and recover the lives of historical women. I draw upon my knowledge of art history, symbolism, and iconography to create rich stories about the women I paint. By projecting my own likeness into many of the portraits I create or by using models, I identify with the women I paint and explore my own sense of being an artist and woman in relation to accomplished women across centuries and cultures.

Here we see the pages from my newest artist book, I Wake Again, based on the life of Pre-Raphaelite artist and poet, Elizabeth Siddal. The poems are written by Kim Bridgford, who was a dear friend for 30 plus years. The pages are printed in lithography and the initial letter of each poem is done in silkscreen. The font of the poems is Morris Font. The ink color is graphite. I have reimagined key moments in Elizabeth’s life, such as her birth, her writing poetry, reading, painting, and her death. Each book contains red hair and has been bound by Maureen Cummins.

32 Poems
The Academy of American Poets
The Atlantic
The Christian Science Monitor
The Cortland Review
Favorite Poem Project
The Frost Place
The Iowa Review
Light Quarterly
Modern American Poetry
The Poem Tree
Poetry Daily
Poetry Society of America
Poets House
Raintown Review
String Poet
Valparaiso Poetry Review
Verse Daily
Women's Poetry Listserv
The Yale Review

Bread Loaf
Poetry by the Sea


Barefoot Muse Press
David Robert Books
David R. Godine Press
Graywolf Press
Headmistress Press
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Louisiana State University Press
Northwestern Univ Press
Ohio Univ Press
Persea Books
Red Hen Press
Texas Tech Univ Press
Tupelo Press
Univ of Akron Press
Univ of Arkansas Press
Univ of Illinois Press
Univ of Iowa Press
Waywiser Press
White Violet Press

City Lights
Grolier Poetry Bookshop
Joseph Fox Bookshop
Prairie Lights
Tattered Cover Bookstore

92nd Street Y
Literary Mothers
Poets & Writers