Experiencing “for the first time” a sense of dislocation, the speaker of Adam Getty’s “Yellow Grass” promises a new understanding of his place in the world. And he delivers on this promise by envisioning another person and admiring the dynamism of that person’s imagination. Sustaining his initial “wonder” in the surrounding countryside by wondering who might know it intimately, the speaker conjures a person so familiar with the field that he has “named each one of these blades” and identified every “kink” in the grass…
Writing poems based on journalistic reportage is perilous at the best of times. The poems risk becoming too freighted with the politics or moral implications of the event itself. Yet no poet, or poetic novelist, with blood in their veins can steer clear of the stranger-than-fiction events that fill the newspapers and airwaves. Regina poet and novelist Dave Margoshes takes on both the unspeakable and the ineffable in this poem about Robert Latimer’s decision to kill of his severely disabled daughter Tracy. The poem was written several years after the [...]
In one of the most famous pieces of poetic shlock ever penned, Joyce Kilmer muses that he “shall never see / A poem lovely as a tree.” “Tree” is not merely the first syllable of treacle, however, and trees–despite poets’ best efforts to abet deforestation through publication–are almost always positive emblems when they appear in a poem–even while forests are often dark and terrible zones.
A.G. Bailey seems to suggest that if all Kilmer and others can see is arboreal loveliness, then they probably can’t see the forest for the [...]
During medical school, I had Nowlan, a New Brunswick poet who developed thyroid cancer at the age of thirty-three, as my major tutor in pain. Before he was diagnosed and eventually underwent three major surgeries, he wrote a poetry of fine lyric, a mainly descriptive poetry that stuck to stanza. But after his cancer, his style exploded: he started to write about himself, about his own impressions and feelings, about his own frailties and how they manifested themselves in others and, most importantly, about his own life-threatening illness.
“The Boil” is [...]