By Judith Fitzgerald
POEM FOR APRIL 4
Emily McGiffin won the RBC Wallace Bronwen award for a new poet under 35 this week. From the jury: These deeply resonant poems are perceptive, visceral and steeped in lyrical wisdom. The linguistic orchestrations of this work inhabit a fully engaged intelligence and sensibility. There is heart-seeing here, expressed with an authentic strength and a luminous eloquence. This is poetry linked firmly to the invisible labouring of a raw faith, which has grown out of body and mind. The vision here is one aesthetically grounded in the world, a world that in turn is replenished by these poems, by [Emily McGiffin's]beautifully cadenced work.
After a Journey
The language roots write through the soil. How you've begun to learn it pressing your ear again and again to the earth. How, when I crouch near you, I hear their strange whispers threading over your bones. You are thinking of your footfalls in a forest becoming sure as your heartbeat, as rain -- you grow so still a thrush lights on your wrist, forgetting to be afraid. And near you a beetle emerges from under a leaf; it has found the sun and remembers its own limbs, its stiff grace. What it must do.
-- From "Wokkpash and Other Poems"