The Next Chapter

Lorna Crozier on Miley Cyrus

Poet Lorna Crozier on being told that the pop star was considering tattooing a poem from Lorna's book "The Wild in You" on her skin.
Celebrated poet Lorna Crozier's latest book celebrates the beauty of the wilderness. (Greystone Books)

Lorna Crozier is one of Canada's most popular and accomplished poets. Her latest book, The Wild in You: Voices from the Forest and the Sea, was released in September 2015.

Speaking from Victoria, B.C., Lorna told The Next Chapter host Shelagh Rogers how it felt to hear that pop star Miley Cyrus was considering getting a tattoo of a passage from The Wild in You.


Ian McAllister, the photographer who I've done this book with, lives in a marvellous patch of wilderness called the Great Bear Rainforest, which stretches from the tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska Panhandle. It's one of the last primeval wilderness areas in the whole world. And Miley Cyrus, of all people, is a big fan of animals, and she's very sincere about what she can do to help make safe places for them to live. She heard a story about this terrible wolf cull that's happening in British Columbia right now, and so somehow she got in touch with Ian and flew out to meet him, to go with him to see some wolves in their natural habitat. So Ian gave her a copy of our book, and she loved it — she even said she thought she might get a tattoo of one of the poems!

Lorna Crozier's comments have been edited and condensed.

(Ian McAllister)

Genesis: Rainforest

God as Grizzly
created salmon first, five kinds
for the rivers, lakes and oceans
she had made. Next, the sedge,
tasty in its roots — a joy
for the herbivores to come — and after,
still famished from her work,
she crafted skunk cabbage,
doused it with her favorite scent,
then berry after berry after berry
to ripen in the sun and rain.

Did she conjure birds then, too,
long before she clawed in the trunks of trees
the blueprints for their bones?

With the might of her shoulders
from deep inside the earth
she hove the mountains into the sky,
dug out caves for dens, scratched runnels
in the rock for tumbling water.

No one knows how long
it took to raise the mountains,
or pin the stars one by one
above the peaks, but she made time
to design, for her own amusement,
a Great Bear constellation.

Tired then, with a yawn that sucked in
all the air above her head, she devised
the biggest sleep she could dream up
and filled her dreams with falling snow.

Before she rested, though, Grizzly
tweaked the salmon
so the ones who ventured far
would return to the rivers of their birth,
without number, without end,
like the trees she'd build tomorrow,
tall and greener than the rain.

From The Wild in You: Voices from the Forest and the Sea by Lorna Crozier. Reproduced with permission from Greystone Books.