Books by Cathoel Jorss


Comb the Sky with Satellites, It’s Still a Wilderness – ebook

Robert Adamson reviews the new collection:

“I suggest you dive into this remarkable book of digital images and handcrafted words and let its strong tide wash over your brain. Cathoel Jorss is a poet of telling observation whose images burn in the dark. Her work is alive with the spirit of a generous woman whose poetry speaks of abundance. There is a vivid awareness of the world’s situation here, so we know the hope Jorss rakes up in these poems is hard won, conjured from her life-giving imagination. This book is a vast and a brilliant plea that we stay alive to the possibilities of Jorss’s world, where the living atmosphere is sweet to breathe, where the light shines for reading.”

“A writer to change your thinking, your writing and your dreams.”  ~ Melissa Lucashenko

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15 reviews of “Comb the Sky with Satellites, It’s Still a Wilderness – ebook

  1. Thank you, Jayne. From a poet of such substance this is wonderful to hear.

    Cathoel Jorss October 17, 2014 at 8:34 pm
  2. So many over-excited trips down to the post office over the last five weeks! I will let you know as soon as the fresh batch are printed, Andrea.

    Cathoel Jorss October 17, 2014 at 8:40 pm
  3. I expect to see it coffee-stained and dog-eared.

    Cathoel Jorss October 17, 2014 at 8:42 pm
  4. Notes on Crossing into Nineveh, A Recommendation of Cathoel Jorss, “Comb the Sky with Satellites, It’s Still a Wilderness.”

    “…the world is male and I
    will sit my sweet imprint on it.”

    The age of criticism has passed. We live in an age of listening or not listening. The news of this may not have gotten to all the outposts of literary world as of yet but this failure has little to do with its truth. The voice of poetry in our day is one of overhearing the unforgettable.

    If a review of a volume of poetry by Australian poet Cathoel Jorss is construed as criticism, the reader has missed the point–maybe even the point of her beautiful and important poetic achievement. In a critical sense, it is not possible for one to write a review, especially of Cathoel Jorss. To do so would be decadent indeed and shamefully heavy-handed. Nonetheless, I have something to say about poetry and this collection as an example of it.

    First of all, only a fool would try to define poetry and then seek examples of it accordingly. But we can speak of the experience of poetry in the same way we can speak of the experience of a god; that is, cogently, reasonably and with respect for the limitations of language, while remaining silent on the definitions of subjects that are understood most clearly in silence.

    In the most general sense, poetry is found in not saying what is said. The elements of inspiration in poetry dog a sentence of verse like a hungry wolf and rip it free of flesh so only the chewed and bloody bone is left to us, the gift of truth in poetry.

    I think before we begin to read the “Comb the Sky with Satellites, It’s Still a Wilderness” or revisit it, we should understand the are two cosmologies which separate and ground all poetry. These are the cosmologies of the feminine and masculine. Both explanations of the ’cause of it all’ have the same logic, syntax, language and cultural references, etc, but the structure of any explanation in one is radically different from the same explanation in the other; as different as the circle and the line. (For lack of a better explanation, I call them the cosmology on the circle and the cosmology of the line.)

    It is the praise and harmony that arises from the attraction of these two realms that is the source of all silent beauty that accompanies it. In Cathoel Jorss’ poetry, this is manifest, and she is speaking from the cosmological circle that must know and speak from the loci that web all relevant experiences and presents them in the harmonious plea for place.

    The unabated power that comes from this poetry arises from the fact that it is addressed to the cosmological other, the line, the masculine presence. So in a sense, all the poems are love songs; and in matters of poetry, if one does not address the other, the bounds of provincial isolation will never be breached by the poems. Cathoel Jorss succeeds and as readers of poetry we are better for it.

    The tragedy and heartache is that these two cosmologies do not easily reference or talk to each other. The despair is real and it infects our culture. We are much the worse for it.

    Cathoel Jorss’ despair is always present; yet it is redeemed by the apprehension of beauty. Her poetry is a work of unbounded naïve romanticism, almost too symbolic in its realism. One can at random pick a line and understand that it speaks above itself. The lines are unforgettably original and persuasive. For this very reason, it is an important book of poetry in the same way the poetry of Hart Crane or Friedrich Hölderlin is important. It speaks across the seemingly vast distances from one cosmos to another and communicates, often, before it is understood that it has done so.

    Let me end here with a selection of just a few of the unforgettable lines form her book of poetry:

    “appropriated on all sides
    by poets and for souvenirs
    the moon is beyond commerce
    we are lesser than the inanimate
    moon, who builds no fables on us”
    “blocking sleep to stay alone
    I’d be setting out settling too: full of ambition”
    “some village
    somewhere in their shores might recognize a pilgrim
    desire & trade would turn the soil
    our blood be mixed by individual
    lovers, singular, explorers
    taught by otherness and dreams
    calling out the darkest art
    of culture in each other”
    “Like a scarf I lose my fear
    without knowing I’ve lost it.
    Terra nullius must be Strine,
    I think, for I fear nothing.”
    “I hope by outgrowing nubility
    to escape commercial value”

    There is so much more waiting in this book for the poetry lover.

    Stephen Cole


    Stephen Cole November 15, 2014 at 10:13 am
  5. Dear Stephen,

    thank you for reading with such careful and sensitive attention. It means the world.


    Cathoel Jorss November 17, 2014 at 4:02 pm
  6. I arrived at Cathoels work through her prose and must admit claim no expertise for reviewing poetry having not attended to it at all since secondary school. Her prose delight me with their razor sharp depth perspectives on everyday life. I bought this book mostly as a wY of paying some small token as appreciation for the joy I’d gained from reading her prose for free. I must say this book has been a delight to dip into and I suspect I will savour it over many years. Why? The words , phrase and metaphors have the quality of a fine cheese, whiskey and perhaps sometimes that South East Asian fruit the durian. Inciteful, novel, sweet, bitter sweet….hey the odd belly laugh too! Deep insight, wit and whimsy! Thank you Cathoel for giving me the opportunity to experience through you mind and finely honed words! Mark Allen

    Mark November 23, 2014 at 3:18 pm
  7. Mark, I never thought I’d be pleased to be compared with a durian but I know exactly what you mean. Roses are cliched, violets are too.. thank you for this actual and genuine compliment. Glad of the belly laughs too!

    Cathoel Jorss November 27, 2014 at 3:55 pm
  8. A welcome relief from the mechanical of day-to-day life.
    A reminder of my (and everyones’) humanity.
    Sometimes a thousand words can be compressed into a sentence.
    Othertimes all the words need to be said just as here they have been.
    Thank you Cathoel.

    Diamond Jim Legend January 4, 2015 at 10:44 am
  9. Thanks very much, Diamond, I am glad to hear you enjoyed it. Cathoel x

    Cathoel Jorss January 4, 2015 at 5:57 pm

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