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Emerging, the love of the homefires in Imagist poetry by Lila Hope-Simpson.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Emerging

Author: Lila Hope-Simpson

Publisher: Red Mare 9

Date of Publication: 2014

Page Count: 30

“I’ll light the fire,
you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today.”
- from Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Emerging is an artist’s Chapbook, a powerful work of love poetry by Lila Hope-Simpson. Hope-Simpson is a poet, writer, early childhood educator, wife and mother. She has written Fiddles and Spoons: Journey of an Acadian Mouse, a children’s book that won the Marianna Dempster Children’s Literature Award; a novel, Stepping Out; and a parenting book The Clothesline Collection. This is the third book This Writer has reviewed for Lila Hope-Simpson.

This powerful collection of poetry lives in love, the places of the heart, the beauty of rural areas, Nova Scotia. The book itself, is a beautiful offering of handmade Japanese paper by SuZi at Red Mare 9. A hand printed Chapbook, with a tomato red cover and golden leaves, this work of poetry is also a visual work of art.

In the quiet of a Summer evening I hear the song Our House, “with two cats in the yard, Life used to be so hard, Now everything is easy 'cause of you”, inside the perfect lovesong. The poetry of Emerging is in a narrative and Imagist style that is like reading a picture postcard in time. The beauty of nature resides in the heart, is the inside of celebration, like an observer chronicling the sights and sounds of forests and oceans on a particular day, the world morphs into synchronicity. The imagery lives in the natural world, Brier Island Wild chronicles a day in the life of a camping trip,

“The woods shift to bushes
      shifting to grass
      shifting to cliffs and rocks
      shifting to ocean
      shifting to sky
The fog has vanished into the sun
leaving sharp, clear edges on the leaves,
spider webs shivering dew drops
appear on the grass,
      like fairies’ shawls
wild irises, deep purple against the green fields,
blow lustily in the sea breezes.”

Celebrating the light and happiness that surrounds a happy marriage, the poetry lives in the seasons of life, her childhood, her family, a reckoning, a thank you for love fulfilled. Emerging is written in the first person, the voice of a woman, strong, awake, alive. Within the poetry I notice the strength in love, when anything is wrong with the world, it is the strength in love, the voice of a woman, of women and happy marriages that could mend the world in peace.

This poetry exists in all the beauty that is woman, the goddess, all the vulnerability and the mystery of the essence of the wife, the mother, the peacemaker. As if inside the heartbeat of nature and the meaning of life, to love, the worship of the god Eros, this poetry writes.


He sits on the edge of the bed
I curl up tight around him like a fern.

He’s wearing his white silky shorts
      spattered with paint
      a little too tight
I wear my cotton nightgown with the pink tulips.
His hand gently pulls the nightgown
      up around my waist
my hand reaches around his middle
to caress the white of his shorts
My leg encircles him
his heart beats faster
my breath quickens

The baby looks up with dancing hazel eyes
She says da-da
I pull down my nightie,
      go downstairs and fix breakfast.”

As if celebrating the freedom of love and the power of women to build bridges and create peace, The Laughing Woman celebrates. Like walking into a room full of women with husbands and families, you can feel the love and if this powerful energy could be harnessed there would be no violence in the world.

The Laughing Woman

Who is that Laughing woman?

She’s the mechanical gypsy lady
at the amusement park
who sits patiently in front of the Dark Tunnel.
She waits for a curious child
to insert a quarter in the slot,
then she rolls back and forth, back and forth,
holding her skirted belly
laughing eerily for sixty seconds.

Who is that laughing woman?

She sits close to her lover in a dim café,
her head close to his
and she giggles and laughs mysteriously
at everything he says,
takes a sip of wine
and laughs some more.

Who is that laughing woman?

She’s lounging on the couch
watching a film with friends,
a line strikes her as funny.
She laughs until tears stream down her
and her stomach hurts.
Everyone else in the room stares.

Who is that laughing woman?

She is the mother
disciplining her child.
She wants to be taken seriously
she wants to be stern-
but the child laughs
then the mother laughs
and she gives him a hug.

Who is that laughing woman?

She is you and she is me
She is everywoman
      who has loved
      who has given birth
      who has danced
      who has stumbled
      who has felt the wind lift her hair

She is you and she is me.
We laugh together
We laugh alone
We laugh because we are alive.

This poetry exists in the realm of the homefires, the seasons of life and the natural world of rural Nova Scotia, in essence the work is in league with the work of Canadian Poet Colleen Thibaudeau. Of life and love, a very impressive first collection of poetry, Emerging by Lila Hope-Simpson.

Available @ Red Mare 9.

Genre: Poetry, New Age, Women's Literature

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