Skip to content

On “the Grammar of Beauty”: Claire Farley Reviews Sonia Di Placido’s Exaltation in Cadmium Red

Exaltation in Cadmium Red_printThe California Journal of Women Writers recently published Claire Farley’s review of Sonia Di Placido’s Exaltation in Cadmium Red. The review comments on the style and thematic purpose of the collection, and shows how Di Placido’s poems draw parallels between art forms.
Exaltation in Cadmium Red was published by Guernica Editions in 2012.
Farley explains that the poems in the collection provoke the question “how does art reflect life?” and enter into conversation with visual artwork.
“Di Placido takes up this conversation very subtly in her collection of poems by drawing attention to her palette of language and symbols as capable tools of powerful creation and commentary, as well as precise description and reflection.”
Farley highlights Di Placido’s ability to connect with the reader through her language, and explains that while lyric poems can often seem self-indulgent, Di Placido is capable of enacting “a deep intimacy with her audience that is grounded in the sensuality of her language rather than anecdotal framings. We see shades of a poet exploring femininity, spirituality, sexuality with a focus on becoming.”
As to Di Placido’s greater project in the collection— she explains it as “[a reminder] of the emotional and intellectual importance of tasting, smelling, breathing.”
“The language that Di Placido seeks and that “will tickle / both tongues” is a language that is tasted on our tongues and by our intellect – the “grammar of beauty” that is as difficult to master as oil paint.”
Sonia Di Placido is a poet, playwright, writer, actor and artist currently completing her MA. A graduate of the Ryerson University Theatre School and Honours in Humanities from York University, Sonia has experience as a Supernumerary with the Canadian Opera Company, is a member of the Association of Italian Canadian Writers and The League of Canadian Poets.  She has published poems, profile pieces, interviews and reviews in literary print and online journals as well as various anthologies: Carousel, The Toronto Quarterly Blog, The Puritan, Jacket2 and The California Journal of Women Writers.
To read the full review, visit The California Journal of Women Writers website:
Exaltation in Cadmium Red is available for purchase on the Guernica Editions website:

Posted in Poetry, Reviews.

Tagged with , , .