Sealey Challenge, Week 2

Which way next? All of them begun…
  • A Possible Landscape by Maureen Harris (Brick, 1993/2006 2nd printing) [Sealey #6] has a symmetry with others on the TBR pile, specifically Frances Boyle and Kim Fahner, all referencing quiet luminous moments, and in admiration of Gerard Manley Hopkins. A reflection towards or out of calm, I’m not sure which. From “Spring”,

How can I render the meaning of sunlight on this red brick wall spreading its warm fingers wide,
the open palm of the world where time passes, pauses for a moment to bask, moves on again?

A Possible Landscape by Maureen Harris
  • Journey Ongoing: a meander of haiku by Michael Dudley, edited by Melchior Dudley  (Independently Published, 2023) [Sealey #7]: This I’ll relate responses to more fully eventually as I’ll review it online at ShoHyōRan. It is poetry of travel, but observation and juxtoposition of expectation such as this haiku from page 32: “forest campsite/in moonlight the silk tents/of caterpillars”
  • The Best Canadian Poetry 2023, edited by John Barton (Biblioasis, 2022) [Sealey #8]. As I mentioned on IG before, the opening essay’s depth and lucidity is worth the price of admission. It’s 25% essay, 40% end notes of bios and about the poems chosen in the poet’s own words, and afterbits so the poems themselves are an excruciatingly small reduction from the thousands of poems read. Standouts are Karl Jirgens’ poem on dementia and the multilingual exploration of Moni Brar. Looking forward to a book from her, and to Laurie D. Graham’s whose book I just got. A Wayman poem and a Bertrand Bickersteth poem into the mix demonstrates how his choices are to reflect range, not a uniform aesthetic.
  • From Turtle Island to Gaza: poems by David Groulx (AU Press, 2019) [Sealey #9]: A re-read, I think my second, could be my third. The poems reach wide and deep in some ineffable way.
  • Meniscus Blister by Frances Boyle (Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2022) [Sealey #10]. Each work from Boyle gets tighter and this has sound without feeling intercut with the era of Gerard Manley Hopkins but with a backward glance at his density of assonance and consonance. Like Fahner’s book, there’s elemental work, poems concentrating on air and on water and their formative, curative and destructive forces. The outer is emblematic of, even metonymic of the inner. For example, “erosion”:

water cuts oxbows, undermines banks
so scrubby bushes, tufts of grass
hang halfway to midair.

Wind whips soil, bares rock suface
in sheen, then its skin, core exposed.

Meniscus Blister by Frances Boyle.

I fear I approach my uncle’s age when I was teen when he said he won’t have time left to read the books he owns but hasn’t got to, or reread the ones he already finished. And yet my TBR grows and I want to be attentive to each, not rush through. It helps to have read some of many books and to savour.

What is done can rebegin again too…what is linearity and list?
ah, but then there is new-to-me finds to pique interest too. what a delightful chaos.

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