Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Entry archive:

Planetary Poetry Month 2010 Add to ...

It's a beautiful day in the Bloggerhood: Not only do we kiss April's Fools - arguably the dumbest annual ritual practised in this neck of the world - goodbye, we also say hello to the cruellest month infinitely tempered by our expansive and inclusive Planetary Poetry tell-and-show-all.

This year, rather than yours truly selecting both the poems and their respective commentarians, I elected to enlist the superior services of Ottawa poet, visual artist, critic and small-press OneOf rob mclennan, who readily agreed to plant the seed and do the poetic deed; thus, commencing Monday IOW readers will discover a couple or few dozen new poems, not-always household names nor faces, and equally keen attendant observations concerning the works under scrutiny as well as learning a little about both creators and their wonderfully wide-ranging poetic aesthetics to boot.

Considered by many of the chatterati's PTB the finest poet of his generation, the prolific author of several dozen chapbooks, a dozen-plus volumes of verse - most recently kate street (Moira: Chicago Il), wild horses (University of Alberta Press: Edmonton), a compact of words (Salmon: Ireland), gifts (Talonbooks: Vancouver) and solids, or, strike-out (Ungovernable Press: Sweden) - as well as four non-fiction collections and a pair of prose works with Canada's highly respected Mercury Press ( white; missing persons), poet-laureate mclennan (who received the prestigious 1999 CAA / Air Canada Award bestowed upon the most-promising writer under 30 in any genre) regularly organizes and / or participates in hundreds of readings, workshops and poetic / cinematic presentations across the continent and beyond the limits of the same-ol' lame-ol' tame-ol' lit-lights.





<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/XSkSdRE00K4&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/XSkSdRE00K4&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>




mclennan's laudable critical and editorial acumen, not to mention his inestimable and unforgettable contribution to Canadian belle lettres and scores of anthologies published by both mainstream and independent presses world-wide, has earned the Ottawan, who turned 40 this past Ides of March, the title of Unoffical King of Everything Happening (or About to Happen). A poetry powerhouse with a number of writer-in-residence stints to his credit, mclennan graciously consented to our request for material to kick off our annual Planetary-Poetry-Month Extravaganza:

little essays on love
& virtue



where joy, in turn, connects



flipped to its side, a brutal path



the entire length of cluster, tears



unstated, but by no means



what Homer tells The Iliad



once more the ripened-thorn



a sliver down her spine,



a health-related service



*



where in this wicked world, you are



, it can be spoken



few things are free: metro workers, a feast that funeral since



the names of these departed



or drinks an instant, coffee



the cars spate by a north of autumn route, so children say



, is tested



mirror held to fact;



*



white laughter, blue, what can be spared



; remember, remember that stretch of seasons, breeze



needles this, a conversation made out, commercials



a boy talks to another boy, a girl



what British sense



, concludes a citizen, essential



remind me of grammar, says, meaning English



*



the floor not broke; scarred, for sure



; when heart her stops, a poetry



the long-necked reeds; her lips a flavour made of sweet



a trance , or, sleepy-song



we made out of the differences, our ends-that-meet



passing for breath & simple water



*



I smoothed the path of water, weeds; a fully ruined form



we bridge, we talk, the substance holds



a swimming pool of customs, sharp , expressly made



passport & keep company , a phantom-tongue of blue



made for what it wants, not what withstands



it holds; a passage bent of chain



*



historians catch the eye, in love with love & love, the incarnations, all



a science not of ables,



piece of the action; fractals thick in circles, fold



body, love a bridge



& broken in a letter, a chamber of forgive



, in marble part



beyond a circle smoothed, exposed - rob mclennan



Exquisite! This poetic field is now in motion (in abso-obvo capable hands with thanks to rm in advance).

NEWS SPLASH! Kudos to Chaudiere Books's Marcus McCann whose Soft Where, we just this moment learned, leads the list of nominees for this year's Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for best first poetry collection by a Canadian . . . You can read McCann's thoughts on this lovely honour just posted @ his own blog.



Photograph of rob mclennan © 2010 Lainna El Jabi. Poetry (exclusive to The Globe and Mail) © 2010 rob mclennan. All Rights Reserved.

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeBooks

 

In the know

Most popular video »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most Popular Stories