Excerpted from Orphic Politics by Tim Lilburn. Copyright © 2008 by Tim Lilburn. Excerpted by permission of McClelland & Stewart, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
TIM LILBURN is the author of seven previous books of poetry, including To the River, Kill-site, and Orphic Politics. His work has received the Governor General's Award and the Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award, among other prizes. Lilburn is also the author of two essay collections, Living in the World as if It Were Home and Going Home, and edited two other collections on poetics. He teaches at the University of Victoria.
I wrote the poems in Orphic Politics between 2003 and 2007. This was a difficult time for me. I got quite ill, was hospitalized, and had a number of surgeries. I also developed an auto-immune condition that made walking difficult. I had never been sick like this before, never lived in the country of the ill, and my health problems went on for a couple of years. The poems respond to all of this. After a while, being sick felt like an orphic immurement. I began to think of other diseases in me that might be in need of healing, noological disorders — a loneliness for things, for example, the residue of colonialism. How to transform these? I subjected myself to the theurgic art of poetry.
-- Tim Lilburn