The Hour's Acropolis

Paperback | January 1, 1991

byJohn Pass

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The Hour's Acropolis, John Pass's tenth book of poetry, is a classical meditation rebounding between domesticity and myth. Ben Johnson's Olympic disgrace is counterpoint to poetry's inspirational lightning, Steve Fonyo appears next to Odysseus, Orpheus listens to Lou Reed.

Stylistically, this book is a complex and ingenious construct, a poetic acropolis posing as a "deconstruction" of a one-page introductory thematic motif "poem." A pair of sonnets address each other over the heads of intervening poems. A haiku sequence, acknowledging influences beyond the European, is called upon to perform the very western task of narrating a storm. Pass's virtuosity, his "technical and intellectual brilliance" (Canadian Literature) offer shelter and welcoming affection in love poems like, "Delicious," "Quibble" and "Our Daring."

The poems in The Hour's Acropolis are the work of a mature poet with a range, ability and intelligence rarely seen in contemporary poetry. John Pass is one of a small group of writers who belong to no identifiable school of fashion but who works in a steadfast faith to the shining moments, "the wild light alive in the fibers striving."

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The Hour's Acropolis, John Pass's tenth book of poetry, is a classical meditation rebounding between domesticity and myth. Ben Johnson's Olympic disgrace is counterpoint to poetry's inspirational lightning, Steve Fonyo appears next to Odysseus, Orpheus listens to Lou Reed.Stylistically, this book is a complex and ingenious construct, a...

From the Jacket

"John Pass's poetry whether he writes of Mediterranean coasts far off in time or modern Pacific ones, is irradiated with a clear sharp light of imaginative thought that the ancients would have applauded."&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp-George Woodcock

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:88 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.32 inPublished:January 1, 1991Publisher:Harbour PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1550170430

ISBN - 13:9781550170436

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Read from the Book

SurprisedApex, high anchorof an April sky mishandledso to splash the night, sans moonlightupon us freely to the lees -well never see, listing in frog pause, steep Chablisof Narcissus sleeping nearlyhow our wonder is undone, unravelsaimlessly how we've lostyou, locating Leo.Or one said, "Ridethe dipper. It's nothing,"and then above the racketof the ratchets clackingunder our ascending car, peakof that propelling climb"You're gonna die." But didn't.But done before we knew it. And hardon the heels of mesh and meldweld personal a cooling songof all things wants apresdeliriumher rudimentary handle onthe far light, its libation.Us in EverythingWhat to make of lightis issueagainst the nay--sayers, turners-awaybut for them at lengthwho swim too in its puzzlementraising their glassesinto its assurances, modest vocabularyof qualities in and around and upondefinities of objects and ethers, claritiesof isolationbut of itselfwhat is it, despite our successesaslant here in the tulips, therein the white flash blindnesscommencing and concluding the openedatom's invitation? Some simple tellingimage drownsin any human eye for it, a smile'sinfusion, eddies of pollenon the windshieldsignals the singular singing againof the invisible making us see and seen.

Table of Contents

Contents

It amused us
those mornings woken early
to discover names and invent
decidedly human capacities

for the animals, birds
landmarks, light
breezes and the astounding
variety of plants.

So we grew into our lives
godlike, with gods
as companions

and the origins of science
our whim. A shivery, silky

suddenness, delicious
thrill of recognition

surprised us
in everything

till aging
who could quibble
with what had been so vivid
now almost

transparent, our daring assumptions
faded in the old books
to headings, attic
definition

emphatic of a precipitous sadness
we had no stomach for, no means

to divine.


It 11 Amused Us 12

Those Mornings 14 Woken Early 15
To Discover 16 Names 17 And Invent 19
Decidedly 20 Human Capacities 22

For the Animals 24 Birds 2 5
Landmarks, Light 27
Breezes And 29 The Astounding 31
Variety 32 Of Plants 33

So We Grew 36 Into Our Lives 39
Godlike 40 With Gods 41
As Companions 43
And the Origins 45 Of Science 46
Our Whim 48 A Shivery, Silky

Suddenness 49 Delicious 50
Thrill of Recognition 51

Surprised 54 Us
In Everything 55

Till Aging 56
Who Could 58 Quibble 60
With What Had Been 61 So Vivid 63
Now Almost 64

Transparent 65 Our Daring 67 Assumptions 68
Faded 70 In the Old Books 71
To Headings 72 Attic
Definition 73

Emphatic 76 Of a Precipitous Sadness 77
We Had No Stomach For 78 No Means 80

To Divine 81