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[Poetry Friday] Streams of Consciousness in Sonja’s Danowski’s Poetry

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Myra here.

I am very pleased to once again be joining the Poetry Friday community this week, especially since it is hosted by the ever-ravishing Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup.


We have also just recently launched our reading theme as we explore fantastical realms until end of December. And so I thought this particular book captures that spirit of dreamlike qualities that we hope to feature in the coming weeks. Maybe we do need to take a break from reality in these trying times and just allow our streams of dreams to take us where they will.


Streams and Dreams and Other Themes

Written and Illustrated by: Sonja Danowski Translated by: Anthea Bell
Published by: Minedition, 2012 ISBN: 9881595428 (ISBN13: 9789881595423)
Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

I have fallen deeply in love with Sonja Danowski’s art. It was The Forever Flowers which first captivated me, then Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village, and now, this one.


Each page spread is marked by a particular character with a peculiarly-European vibe. Each description is written in verse accompanied by stunning art. It reminded me a little bit of another European title The Book of Memory Gaps by Cecilia Ruiz whereby each page carries three lines about different people who have lost bits and pieces of their precious memories.


In Danowski’s book, however, it is an odd assemblage of fragments: simple life in the farm, “soft balls of coloured wools,” or an untamed garden. But they all come home to the comfort of dreaming – be it when one is sleeping or awake.


There is the peace to be had in taking control of one’s ruminations, then allowing them to take you where they will.


I think there are parts of the text that have been form-fitted into verse in the process of translation, which may account for a slightly stilted vibe to it. It is really the art that is the star here more than the verse.

This one from Wolfgang is what I wanted to share with you Poetry Friday enthusiasts:

The wood is Wolfgang’s favourite place.

He feels fresh breezes on his face

Whenever he goes walking there;

There’s always lots of time to spare.

He brings the trees and quiet streams

Into the country of his dreams,

That fly around from leaf to leaf,

And never seem to come to grief.

It reminded me so much of the Wurm River in Munich – which is practically right outside of my landlady’s, Ursula’s, doorstep. It was such a gift just stepping out of Ursula’s sanctuary and just listen to the pulsing life of the river, while reading a book:


Yes, I do miss Munich terribly. But I do capture its essence through streams and dreams and other themes. Take heart, dear friends in the US. Light always overcomes dark.

10 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Streams of Consciousness in Sonja’s Danowski’s Poetry

  1. Julie Larios

    I’m headed to the library to find some Danowski. Thanks for the heads-up about this author/illustrator, Myra. And I hope that river keeps singing to you! It’s been a hard, sad week for a lot of us, and just thinking of a river pulsing with life helps.


  2. Thanks for introducing me to this book, Myra. I hope to get hold of it.


  3. Irene Latham

    Oh yes how we NEED fantasy! I truly believe that. It’s essential to fire our imaginations, to help us from being too self-centered, to offer perspective. There IS magic and joy and wonder, no matter the circumstances, and it can enlarge our lives and make us better humans. Thank you for these recommendations.


  4. Danowski’s art is gorgeous — no wonder you’re so smitten. Thanks for the heads up about her work. Love your river photo, too, so peaceful and healing. I can just about hear the trickle of water . . .


  5. It’s an uplifting poem, Myra, and the illustrations do look marvelous. I’m glad you had such a wonderful time in Munich!


  6. Yes. Even in the darkest times, there is light. We are mourning the death of Leonard Cohen here in Canada – “Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in”


  7. Thank you for this message of hop and light, Myra…I feel as though it’s all come undone. But that despair will pass.


  8. Light does win, sooner or later. Great book. I’d love to see Munich one day.


  9. Wow, I can see what you mean about being captured by the illustrations. Even bits seen second-hand here put one into a reflective space. I looks like a gorgeous book!


  10. maryleehahn

    I’ve been escaping more regularly into books this past week. And surrounding myself with the people I love.

    “Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in. ”
    Leonard Cohen


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