Jun 11, 2014
This week’s poems are about the exploration of “place” in poetry. All three of these beautiful books point out the similarities between “worlds” and “words,” and create a place in poetry where our minds can reside. As Daphne Marlatt writes, “the web of language is its own web, but in its multiplicities it parallels those other myriad connections in which we also live.”
The Dreamland Theatre exists in a photograph of a white building on sledges being pulled through the mud from one location to another by a team of horses in Prince George (then Fort George) circa 1912. The poems in Dreamland Theatre (re)imagine place through the journey of imagination and the architecture of language. Rob Budde finds place in poetry (“there is this place: / a hut-shaped idea / just around that bend / in thinking”) and pulls his readers into that world of words—into the connectivity and disconnectivity of our “longing in language for / elsewhere and transformation into something / horrifically memorable, a sign of change, / a semantic shift / on the late news.” Samples from Rob Budde's Dreamland Theatre can be downloaded for free via our summer reading project.
Wilfred Laurier Poetry University Press
Rivering is a collection of Daphne Marlatt’s poetry selected and introduced by Susan Knutson. All of the poems speak to Marlatt’s poetics of place and of language as passage between distant or disparate human beings and between human beings and the more-than-human world. Rivering also includes a forward by Neil Besner and an afterword by Marlatt herself on the “Immediacies of Writing” where she addresses the “dualism between [her] woman’s body and then-inherited place in the world, and a male engendered poetic and grasp of that world.” She navigates these worlds through her words and creates a “sense of history as missed story, shadowing place.”
In Peeling Rambutan Gillian Sze reflects upon the familiarity of her childhood home in Winnipeg in contrast to the distance of her parents’ origins in Asia. Sze examines history through its simultaneous independence and dependence on the present, creating a duality of place and belonging. Sze uses language to landscape a world both old and new, where memory and discovery are interrelated and the past and the present find their place in poetry.