Published 2000 by St. Thomas Press, Toronto
About this book
Corona Radiata is a meditation how an embryo becomes a human being. The title comes from the web of cells that arrange themselves around the egg cell after it is released from the ovary.
The book’s nine sections describe a series of journeys within journeys. Voyages to map a new world. Travels through time. Searches in the maze. Pilgrimages to a known destination. Random wanderings. The great migration of species repeated by the individual.
Corona Radiata is a small, beautifully made book with a woodcut designed by Nancy Ruth Jackson for its front cover. In its small dimensions, it embraces a large world.
Experience a poem
Music (from “Ear”) – accompanied by Nora Bumanis
Homing (from “Head”) – accompanied by Nora Bumanis
[Major] charts the fetus’s journey towards light with both the delight and the precision with which explorers such as Cook responded to the New World … Like Hopkins’s poetry, Major’s reminds us vividly of the ‘dearest freshness deep down things.’
-Letters in Canada, 2000
The conceit of gestation/parturition in Corona Radiata can be understood and usefully approached in three principal ways: an overall set of image clusters, as the poet does with her carefully chosen titles and arrangement of titles; the seeding and expansion (both quite apt to the conceit here) of a couple of general metaphors, notably those of art as making and word (logos) as message; and an often implicit echoing and reformatting of supportive biblical references.
Antigonish Review, No. 128 (“Three from St. Thomas”)
Buy a copy
Corona Radiata is out of print