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  • Momentary Dark
  • Written by Margaret Avison
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780771008870
  • Our Price: $12.95
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Momentary Dark

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Synopsis|Excerpt|Table of Contents

Synopsis

Margaret Avison has long been considered one of Canada’s most respected writers, and in a career that now spans more than forty years, she continues to work at the height of her powers. In this brilliant collection of new poems, Avison writes of our home on this “little rollicking orb,” exhilaratingly situated in the immensity of space, and of life in and out of phase with the divine, the measure of all. Deep, subtle, and wide thinking is couched in a crystalline style, and nobody makes taut sentences more flush with meaning. Momentary Dark is a celebration of the world, but not without edge and a quiet challenge to care for a damaged earth and all its citizens equally, including a veritable populace of city trees graciously and beautifully linking the earth and the sky.

Excerpt

POLITICAL PLOY PERHAPS

Is
Humpty Dumpty a
was?
His all-apartity
awash
in royal horses?
(as likely to squash
that goggle-eyed face
in the grass as
to reass-
emble a torso from as
many bits as hash)?

Perhaps poor Humpty had
to tumble so we’d see
all the pieces we need
to make democracy.

A Word about the Poem by Margaret Avison
Three strands came together suddenly to release this poem: remembering Iona and Peter Opies’ disclosure, probably in The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren, of a political dimension in nursery rhymes; recalling an illustration of Humpty Dumpty in a child’s book, his pudginess and protruding eyes, which merged with newspaper photographs of public figures; the feel in the fingers of the name “Humpty Dumpty,” wood carved in an irregularly rounded shape. 

In a poem, the physical feel of a word-counter matters more than its meaning (in this instance, some significant person’s “fall” from power after perceived indecisiveness, i.e. “sat on a wall”).

Table of Contents

Milton’s Daughters: The Prototypes
Scarfover
Political Ploy Perhaps
Not Words. Alone.
A-­luff
In the Earthen Kingdom
A Weather Front, Early Spring
Harvest
Beneficences
Lemmings
Prayer
Exposure
High Overhead
Rhythm
Bereavement and Postlude
Finished When Unfinished
Reconnaissance
Is Intense Sincere?
Poetry Is
Making
Songs
“Thy Kingdom Come”?
3 a.m. by Snowlight
Why Not
The Implicit City
Diadem
Abandon
Comment/Comeant
This Day
Hot Noon
Find a High
Wanderer
Spaces, Verticals
Where Is Everybody?
Best Foot Forward
Window Conversation
Prayer of Anticipation
Grades of Intensity
Seen
In September
Two to One
No Dread
Palette
A Hearing
En Route
horror humani
Looking Back
Exchanges and Changes
Never Alone
Shelters

Acknowledgements
Margaret Avison

About Margaret Avison

Margaret Avison - Momentary Dark

Photo © Joan Eichner

Margaret Avison’s work has, over the course of a career spanning more than forty years, won numerous awards, including two Governor General’s Awards and, for Concrete and Wild Carrot, the Griffin Poetry Prize. Her books of poetry include Always Now: The Collected Poems and, most recently, Momentary Dark. She holds three honorary doctorates and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Margaret Avison died in July 2007, in Toronto
Praise

Praise

“Margaret Avison is a national treasure. For many decades she has forged a way to write, against the grain, some of the most humane, sweet and profound poetry of our time.”
— Judges’ citation, 2003 Griffin Poetry Prize (winner)

  • Momentary Dark by Margaret Avison
  • February 28, 2006
  • Poetry
  • McClelland & Stewart
  • $12.95
  • 9780771008870

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