Before We Had Words

Front Cover
McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 2002 - Poetry - 112 pages
1 Review
Words across a Ouija Board: Memory is the mother of the Muses, said the Greeks. What we write are shadows of recollections, fictions growing out of other fictions. But now these words grow out of memory failing, as where and when blanch slowly to perhaps. The two who sheltered from the sudden downpour, hugging close, or woke to each other in the dark, or quarreled hatefully–were they snatches of old stories, or were you once my wife? Death veils you in the features of passers-by, and age makes yellow secrets of our letters, until the past is unalloyed with circumstance, and becomes pure moments of unearned deserving.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

One summer when I was a boy of 14 I played in the hallways of Trin Coll, and whenever I turned the corner and saw the plastic letters on the door that said 'Dr S P Zitner', they made me laugh and wonder at the same time, Who is Dr Zitner? I saw him introduce a lecture, years later, when he must have been near retirement age, and he was obviously well liked and well regarded. I will look out for more of his poetry, now that I know who he is! JKH  


A Window Seat
Love Among the Ruins
Sweet and Wholesome as a Carrot
February Letter
Introduction and Allegro

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2002)

Zitner has lectured at Trinity College in the University of Toronto since 1969.

Bibliographic information