Monday, July 11, 2005

Jan Zwicky

Jan Zwicky has published three books in the past year or two. (And I thought I was busy!). Thirty-seven Small Songs and Thirteen Silences followed Robinson's Crossing last fall, and the most daunting Wisdom and Metaphor (Gaspereau Press, 2004) just before that. Zwicky's Songs for Relinquishing the Earth catapulted her into the national spotlight and imagination. She, along with Tim Lilburn, Don McKay and Robert Bringhurst, is responsible for a kind of philosophical and intensified investigation of Nature, but she also elevates quotidian lyric poetry to new levels of complexity. She is fiercely intelligent and I'm hoping that like Anne Carson, Zwicky will continue to blur the boundary between academic and poetic thinking. I am eager to see what comes next. Zwicky is also included in Open Field: Thirty Contemporary Canadian Poets.

From Zwicky's Thirty-seven Small Songs

Small Song: Height of Summer

Before breakfast is finished, the cicadas have begun:
the fly-casts, then the home runs of their drones
arc through the trees.

Love, too, is sometimes like that languid flashing line.
Hey-cicadas: it's morning again!
A morning that's a day that is a year.

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