Some months back, I received a book, “Drifting,” and a CD from Marco Fraticelli, a Canadian musician and poet whose work has appeared on The Daily Haiku. He published the book in 2013.
I quote his letter below:
Here is the book I promised to send. I am also sending a film that my sister made about the whole experience.
Back in the 1970s, a box came into my possession. Among the things it contained from the turn of the last century were seven diaries. These are the basics of “Drifting.”
The diary entries are unchanged by me. Those are Celesta’s actual words. The haiku, are course, are mine. I tried to write the haiku that Celesta might have (written) at the end of each day.
I suggest that you watch the documentary (it’s only 45 minutes) before reading the book.
Hope you enjoy meeting Celesta!
After watching the film documentary, “Celesta Found,” created by Rina Fraticelli, Marco’s sister, the motivation for Marco’s book became clear. Marco had been walking one day in the woods in Quebec when he discovered an abandoned cabin with an attic that contained a box of letters and diaries. Some letters were in good shape, but others were just scraps of paper.
For Marco, and his sister, who would later read the diaries and letters, they were intriguing, a glimpse into a world of a common person, Celesta Oakley Taylor who lived from 1860-1937. She worked as a housekeeper and at other odd jobs, keeping records of her innermost feelings, including her unrequited love for her male cousin whom she worked for. She wrote the diaries from 1905 to 1917.
The haiku, at the end of each prose excerpt in the book, is written by Marco.
For Marco and Rina, they had found a treasure in her writings–an intriguing connection and fascination with a common person who lived in a different era in rural Canada. She wrote of growing vegetables, baking bread, doing laundry, working in the shed– a myriad of chores.
Since my readers and followers are interested in haiku, I have reprinted some of the haiku from “Drifting” that Marco has written at the end of Celesta’s daily prose. The haiku are exquisite:
after the argument
pieces of myself
in the broken mirror
this coldest day
the dried flower arrangement
in the evergreen
an empty nest
filling with dead leaves
scraped in the window frost
my fingertip . . . so cold
in its own web
the dead spider
In addition to the writing in the diary collection and the haiku, the book is produced attractively. Its cover with Celesta’s handwriting is artful, and the layout of each of the book’s pages is reader-friendly. Old photographs are included. A First-Class production!
Marco can be reached through Kings Road Press of which he is the publisher. Email:
Copyright 2016 by Charlotte Digregorio.