Above: Christopher Raine reads one of his poems at an open mic poetry event at the library Oct. 21. Below: Raine listens to another poet do a reading at the same event. – Stephen Dafoe Photos
by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville poet Christopher Raine has captured life in 155 pages of poems set to be published before Christmas this year.
Although most of the poems in Vacant Morality were written since 2010, some of the work dates back to the 1980s when Raine was in junior high school and high school.
“English teachers gave me the keys tot he word processing room and told me just to show and write whenever I felt like it,” Raine recalls, adding he did not write for many years after attending the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta. “I wrote a graphic novel and some short stories, but I always came back to poetry because I liked it so much.”
In poetry, Raine finds meaning and meaningful things. “I like poetry because it seems to me to be a way to talk about very meaningful things that can’t be described through normal conversation or discourse,” he said. “It’s like a shorthand, almost like a shamanistic language that can speak directly to the empathy of others that you don’t succeed with when you write prose in the same way.”
Beyond a written form that often speaks to the soul, Raine enjoys the cadence and rhythm of poetry. “It’s musical; it’s lyrical. It just sticks with you,” he says.
Raine chose the title Vacant Morality due to the number of poems in the book that speak to social issues.
“One of the things I believe is that sometimes the only way to describe a beautiful moment is through ugliness,” he said. “Through that, you can see beauty; you can understand beauty, you can understand longing.”
It is an approach to poetry that has caused some to view Raine’s work as a dark form of poetry, but the poet sees it as a beautiful form in that it captures longing.
Indeed, much of Raine’s work in the 155-page collection speaks to longing, regret, joy, passion, love, and fear – a collection of emotions that reflect the maturity of both the poet and his craft.
But there is also a lyrical and musical quality to the work with many of the poems speaking of music in direct or subtle ways. In fact, Raine planned for the book to have 88 poems to reference the 88 keys on a piano.
Vacant Morality will be available in mid-December and will be available on Amazon.com, Barnes, and Noble in both print and digital or direct from the author.
Raine said the book or his writing would not be possible without the vitally important role his wife, Gail, plays in his craft.
For more information on Christopher Raine and Vacant Morality visit www.rainereflections.com.