Crawlspace

Paperback | May 26, 2011

byJohn Pass

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The poems in crawlspace, John Pass's first volume of poetry since he won the Governor General's Literary Award in 2006, work within the narrowing passages imposed upon us by the inevitable strictures and limitations of living and experience: aging, love and loss, tightening or unraveling family ties. Close to home as always, in one instance literally under the house he has built, Pass's work is grounded too in the wider world. Travelling from urban Toronto's Bloor Street, "...a rough wind in the empty elms rolling/ into the streets the liberated beer cans" to the bucolic "...golden light in the bunch grass and aspens" of Pennask Lake in BC's Okanagan, to Sainte-Chapelle in Paris with Matisse in mind, he never loses sight of the roughly textured physical world where he has found poetry's footing for four decades:

What of the salt-leaching stone beneath
the fresco's lustrous skin, and the unconditioned air

outdoors, alive with showers and traffic splashing
where we an hour ago these
centuries later came in?


Pass's intelligent and compassionate vision encompasses
human frailty, memory, and our wondrous, fraught engagements
with (and within) nature. "The long view's our forever/ human incongruity in landscape, on earth. A given,/ the distance. And a gift, to stretch us--restless reaches along the road." crawlspace is a gift that expands the landscape and sensibility of Canadian literature even as it celebrates the intricacies of self.

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The poems in crawlspace, John Pass's first volume of poetry since he won the Governor General's Literary Award in 2006, work within the narrowing passages imposed upon us by the inevitable strictures and limitations of living and experience: aging, love and loss, tightening or unraveling family ties. Close to home as always, in one ins...

John Pass's poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies in Canada, the US, the UK, Ireland and the Czech Republic. He is the author of nineteen books and chapbooks, most notably the quartet AT LARGE, comprised of The Hour's Acropolis (Harbour, 1991), Radical Innocence (Harbour, 1994), Water Stair (Oolichan Books, 2000)--shortliste...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:80 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.25 inPublished:May 26, 2011Publisher:Harbour PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:155017519X

ISBN - 13:9781550175196

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Late Poems John Pass won this year's Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for Crawlspace, a book of late (hopefully not last) poems. I call them late poems because there is an autumnal tone to the whole collection. John is a poet of place, a love poet, and a thinking poet. These poems are not formal, but they have the ghost of form: repetition, word-play, alliteration, half-rhymes, and even puns. One word leads to another, and so the line emerges. Some poems I particularly like: Trail & Medusa, A Delicacy, Lost Thoughts, Late Winter Rain, Laszlo Loves Erasure, Finally.
Date published: 2012-05-15