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Small Beneath the Sky: A Prairie Memoir

av Lorna Crozier

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
557474,571 (4.21)17
Small Beneath the Sky is a tender, unsparing portrait of a family. It is also a book about place. Growing up in a small prairie city, where the local heroes were hockey players and curlers, Lorna Crozier never once dreamed of becoming a writer. Nonetheless, the grace, wisdom, and wit of her poetry have won her international acclaim. In this marvellous volume of recollections, she charts the geography that has shaped her character and her sense of home.… (mer)
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"... Keep remembering," she said. "You don't get another chance."

The last chapter was absolutely brilliant, and among tender recollections are instances of the first cause, many, and these all are an act of the highest poetic sight.

My first read of Crozier's. Won't be my last.
  biblioclair | Jun 20, 2023 |
I've heard Lorna Crozier interviewed a number of times but I don't recall hearing that she grew up in Saskatchewan in the city of Swift Current. I mainly know Swift Current as a place to get fuel and coffee while heading towards the foothills and mountains of Alberta. I also know it as a place where scientists develop new varieties of wheat at the Swift Current Research and Development Centre. However, that latter piece of information is not mentioned in this book so I guess it's not really relevant. Suffice it to say that I now know quite a bit more about this prairie city since reading this book.

Crozier is a well-known poet and her poetic phrasings are sprinkled throughout this book. Her descriptions of the prairie light and the skies made me long to get out into the country. The cover of this book is perfect at capturing the feeling one gets when you stand on the prairie.

Despite these moments of poetic bliss Crozier also unflinchingly tells us what it was like to be poor and have an alcoholic father. Both her parents grew up on farms, quite close to each other, but they ended up living in rented houses and barely managing to make ends meet. As the saying goes, you can take the boy out of the farm but you can't take the farm out of the boy. Crozier thinks it was the disappointment of not inheriting the farm that turned him to drink. Despite their hard-scrabble existence both Lorna and her older brother turned out well. That is probably due to their mother's influence and both children retained strong relationships with her.

I think Ursula K. Le Guin who is quoted on the front cover sums up this book well:
"How rare such honesty is, and how hard-won, and radical, and beautiful." ( )
  gypsysmom | Sep 7, 2021 |
I've only just discovered a few of Crozier's poetry books in the past few months, so I'm not sure why I decided to read her memoir. Honestly, I think it's at least in part because of the cover, which is gorgeous.

Her memoir is not like a typical memoir. Through out the book, in little collections of 2 or 3, she includes mini chapters that aren't always memories (at least, not the historic kind you generally find in memoirs). Prose, I suppose, on grass and insects and such. It's a lovely and unexpected addition to her family's history.

Crozier is honest about her life and her family, even sharing some of the more painful things she endured. She writes as if she was telling a friend anecdotes about her childhood and her family. It makes for an easy and interesting read that feels more like a story than a autobiography.

Even if you aren't a fan of her poetry, you may find this interesting as it offers insight into the lives of people living in the prairies in the 1900's (she was born mid-century, but she talks about the trials her parents' families faced) and the lives of people who struggled with being poor. ( )
  obtusata | Jan 9, 2020 |
3.5 stars

Lorna Crozier is a poet. She was born in 1948 and grew up in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. This tells of her life, much of it during her childhood. Her family didn’t have a lot of money and her father was an alcoholic.

I liked this. I wasn’t sure at first, as there are short chapters that just seem descriptive, which I guess shows more of her poetic side, but those sections didn’t interest me nearly as much as her life stories. I grew up in Southern Sask, and my dad grew up in Swift Current, so it’s always fun to read about places you know. It’s a short book, and she did skip over a lot of stuff. Overall, though, I did enjoy the parts about her life and the familiar places. ( )
  LibraryCin | Mar 23, 2018 |
very short vignettes which join to form a great memoir ( )
  mahallett | Dec 17, 2012 |
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Small Beneath the Sky is a tender, unsparing portrait of a family. It is also a book about place. Growing up in a small prairie city, where the local heroes were hockey players and curlers, Lorna Crozier never once dreamed of becoming a writer. Nonetheless, the grace, wisdom, and wit of her poetry have won her international acclaim. In this marvellous volume of recollections, she charts the geography that has shaped her character and her sense of home.

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