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  • The Reinvention of the Human Hand
  • Written by Paul Vermeersch
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780771087431
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  • The Reinvention of the Human Hand
  • Written by Paul Vermeersch
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9781551993546
  • Our Price: $11.99
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The Reinvention of the Human Hand

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Written by Paul VermeerschAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Paul Vermeersch


List Price: $11.99


On Sale: April 30, 2010
Pages: 0 | ISBN: 978-1-55199-354-6
Published by : McClelland & Stewart McClelland & Stewart
The Reinvention of the Human Hand Cover

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Synopsis|Excerpt|Table of Contents


Paul Vermeersch’s new poems give a present-day voice to primitive song, and restore to us a dawn-time severity that cuts through modern evasions. They go beyond sophistication to reveal the passionate and suffering animal within. The Reinvention of the Human Hand is a poetry of the human body’s experience, of a primal being that struggles to assert itself, or perhaps just survive, in a world of metals, plastics, electronics. Here is the most far-reaching work yet by the acclaimed author of Burn, The Fat Kid, and Between the Walls. Vermeersch has always gone in search of understanding. Now his discoveries speak of a human world exhausted by its divorce from an animal past, terrified of retreating into early places it never truly left, astonished by the forgotten possibilities disclosed there.


the painted beasts of lascaux

Their discovery has been a kind of homecoming, too.
Part of you has been here before, germinal, hidden.
A painted hand resting on the stone, a molecule,
a memory of muscled, brawling bulls entombed
deep within, their horns goring the darkness
locked in the rock of ages. These yellow ochre horses
were born too long before they could be anything
but horses, before they could be centaurs, before
they could be starships. Remember, these herds
are the same on these walls as they were in their fi elds,
the same as they are in your mind. Listen.
Their hoof beats trampling this ancestral earth
are still the drums that drive the song in your blood,
the abiding chant of the hundred billion dead
who came before you. Their distant voices vanished
into your voice, deepening it. Their song the song
that’s been snarled in your heart – breaking it,
trying to pound its way free – for your entire life.

Table of Contents

The Painted Beasts of Lascaux
A Scorpion in Alcohol
Ode to Amoeba proteus
Bosch Landscape 2010
The Formation of the Pack
Altarpiece with False Teeth and Parkinson’s Disease
The Sadness Will Last Forever
Twenty-one Days with a Baboon Heart
Another Effect of Global Warming
Elegy for Paul Winchell
Boys Who Envy Werewolves
I Am Happy to Live in an Age of Plenty
Basic Instructions for Anaesthesia
Old Punk
Prayer to a Saint
In the Glorious Absence of Gods
Last of the Blondes
The Threatened Swan
Prosthetic Leg in Storage
A Photograph of the Human Retina
Sorrow for Frogsong
In Joseph Merrick’s London
The Marriage of the Nuclei
Love as an Argument in Theoretical Physics
A Glass Eye Finds Its Purpose
The Reinvention of the Human Hand
He Considers the Possibility that None of This Is Real
This Is Where Your Life Begins
Three Anthropomorphic Studies
Beautiful and Swift
The Demolition of Heaven
Cloud Formation like a Map of the World
Lost Things
Paul Vermeersch

About Paul Vermeersch

Paul Vermeersch - The Reinvention of the Human Hand

Photo © Heaver Crumples

Paul Vermeersch is the author of three previous collections of poetry and the editor of The I.V. Lounge Reader and The Al Purdy A-frame Anthology. His writing has appeared frequently in the Globe and Mail and been featured on CBC Radio. His poems have been published in numerous journals and anthologies in Canada, the United States and Europe. He lives in Toronto, teaches at Sheridan College, and is the poetry editor for Insomniac Press.
Praise | Awards


"Vermeersch is one of Canada's best young poets. [His poems] explore the tension between the natural world and the artifice of our society, and the collision between the public sphere and the secret corners of our private lives."
Vancouver Province


FINALIST 2010 Trillium Book Award

  • The Reinvention of the Human Hand by Paul Vermeersch
  • March 16, 2010
  • Poetry - Canadian; Poetry
  • McClelland & Stewart
  • $15.50
  • 9780771087431

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