BY RUTH ROACH PIERSON
To open All Violet is to enter a world
like that of Berlin throughout
the Weimar Republic, the Berlin
of Christopher Isherwood
and Der blaue Engel cross-pollinated
with Nosferatu and Dr. Caligari.
To open All Violet is to be greeted
by a soul-searching young woman
in love with words while sickened
by the hypocrisies camouflaging
the calamities bourgeois society
parades as inevitable.
To open All Violet is to meet
a young mind attuned
to the culture of the street
at the same time it hungrily
devours the classics of English
and French literature,
prose as well as poetry.
To open All Violet is to be challenged
by a large heart that rescues
stray cats and homeless girls
and harbours profound
empathy for society’s discards,
for those who, having lost their way,
are driven to sell body and soul
to make it through the night
and survive to see another day, the ones
for whom there will be no hallelujah chorus,
no ascension to a place of unharried peace
except in death’s unprejudiced embrace.
Ruth Roach Pierson,
(Der blaue Engel = The Blue Angel)
Dr. Ruth Roach Pierson has taught women’s history, feminist, European and post-colonial studies at the University of Toronto and Memorial University of Newfoundland. Since retiring in 1980, she has published five poetry collections: Where No Window Was, 2002, Aide-Mémoire, which was a Governor General Literary Award for Poetry finalist in 2008, CONTRARY, 2011, Realignment, 2015, and most recently, Till I Caught Myself.