Monday, October 08, 2007

According to Jan Zwicky...

Interesting post over at Rob McLenann's blog regarding a recent talk at the U of A by Jan Zwicky. Consider the following statement:
Living Canadian poets whose work speaks directly of their love for and involvement with the natural world.

Jane Munro, Roo Borson, Lorna Crozier, Robert Bringhurst, Adam Dickinson, Tim Lilburn, Sue Sinclair, Don Domanski, Liz Phillips, Don McKay, John Steffer.
With two others added:
Mary Oliver (US)
Robert Grey (Australia)
I'm not sure what is more surprising--the vast number of Canadian poets left off of this list, the rather conservative nature of the list, or the fact that Mary Oliver is on the list. To be fair Zwicky isn't saying this is "the only," but the way McLennan reports her presentation it seems so.

What does it mean to "speak directly to" anything? What does it mean to love? Who would recognize what someone else's love for "the natural world" is? Or looks like? Or how it would manifest in any way? What is the natural world? What is other? Is other simply looking at a mirror of ourselves? Poetry as we see? Natural world as we see? When was the last time anyone was in the natural world? Where is natural in the US? Why are all these poets "lyric" poets? Why do we have such a limited understanding of what lyric is, or can be? Why are we so busy building corrals? Why are we so invested in keeping others out of them?

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving. Or is that Happy Canadian Thanksgiving?

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