Sean Arthur Joyce has a new video out! Titled “The Day After Covid,” it draws together in poetic form a year of research and observations about the “pandemic.” It’s a hopeful message that justice will eventually be served as humanity is finally able to “breathe free, breathe free at last!” The poem concludes a 26-poem sequence in Joyce’s new collection, Diary of a Pandemic Year, published by Chameleon Fire Editions (established 1990). The YouTube link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjR22GmIctY&t=5s
When COVID-19 struck the world and turned it upside down, Joyce decided to record his impressions during the year in a series of linked poems—a kind of poetic ‘diary.’ He chose to base the poems on actual events, both personal and on the world stage, since the first lockdown in March 2020. The author was inspired by Daniel Defoe’s classic account of London’s 1665 bubonic plague, A Journal of the Plague Year. Joyce chose poetry instead of prose because poems record not just facts or events but the emotional and spiritual content of experience in powerfully focused, concise language. His 30-year experience as a freelance journalist enabled him to condense his research during the past year into poetry that packs a punch.
“I wanted it to reflect the highly emotional journey this crisis has subjected us to during the past year—something we can all share, regardless of our perspective on the pandemic. And at the same time I felt it was important to talk back to the monolithic perspective presented in the media narrative,” says Joyce.
The video was filmed and edited by Noel Fudge of Sandhill Studios, based like the author in New Denver, BC. Fudge is a versatile, gifted musician and composer whose compositions span a wide range of genres from rock and folk to classical. “He’s an absolute giant talent and a superb human being I feel privileged to have worked with on many occasions,” says Joyce. Please visit his website here: https://www.noelfudge.ca “The Day After Covid” was filmed on location in the city of Nelson, BC and gorgeous rural locations including the Slocan Valley. It was important to the theme of the poem that the imagery reflected the journey from the gritty urban backdrop of Nelson’s alleyways, cemetery and a nearby railway line, to the pristine waters and evergreen mountains of Slocan Lake.
“It’s a reminder that our best healer is still our connection with Nature, a connection that has been seriously compromised in our society,” Joyce says. “Whether you believe in God or evolution or both, we’ve inherited the miracle of the immune system that has enabled humanity to survive every major plague or pandemic throughout history—including many far worse than Covid. We can ignore the fear porn relentlessly spewed by the media and confidently look forward to our future.”
The original music soundtrack in the video is provided by Jordan ‘Jody’ Cliff, a Slocan Valley-based musician who plays a mean blues harp, recorded and mastered at Sandhill Studios by Noel Fudge. Special thanks to Jody’s dog Winter who appears as an ‘extra’ in the video.
In the book, following the 26 poems in the title sequence, Part Two, “Odes to Earth,” celebrates our vital need to connect with the healing power of Nature, featuring poetic encounters with hummingbirds, flycatchers, Cecropia moths, ravens, crows, bees and coyotes. Part Three, “Songs for the Lost,” records recent personal losses of family and friends, though none of them from Covid. These poems offer comfort to anyone who has lost loved ones during this difficult time.
“Brilliant insights are sharpened by emotional intensity and vivid diction, underscored by the poet’s rich verbal music,” writes reviewer Roger Lewis, Professor Emeritus of English Literature (Acadia University).
The book can be ordered at the author’s website: www.seanarthurjoyce.ca