Yet at a Distance---Father Poems from the Maritimes

Various


Yet at a Distance---Father Poems from the Maritimes
Various
Borealis
This anthology, launching on January 25 at Local Jo Cafe, opens with the parable of the prodigal son. Gary Burrill, the collection's editor writes an opaque foreword about why "father poems" proliferate in the Maritimes. Attaching a regional basis is debatable. The biblical passage suggests all sons are prodigal, set to return one day---in thought or memory, if not physically---to their fathers. These are fathers and grandfathers remembered by poets, sons (and one daughter, though the reason for her inclusion is unclear), after many, many years or in the immediate wake of their deaths.

Brian Bartlett's "Crescent on Phelps Mountain" stands out for its sense of action---the poet carrying a memory with him and interacting with it---talking with it. And Harry Thurston's contributions, particularly "Professor out of Work," achieve the most, with the least language and image.

Too often the father figure appears as the man of few words, the labourer (carpenter is especially popular), soldier and so on. The traditional father stands tall here. Sons are frequently reverent, wary of their fathers. The relationship is more complex than suggested here and surely there are writers who could've demonstrated this.
Sean Flinn
type: book

Support The Coast

At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support independent journalism. We are committed as always to providing free access to readers, particularly as we confront the impact of COVID-19 in Halifax and beyond.

Read more about the work we do here, or consider making a donation. Thank you for your support!

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment

Get more Halifax

The Coast Daily email newsletter is your extra dose of the city Monday through Friday. Sign up and go deep on Halifax.


Recent Comments