Skaldance by Gary GeddesSkaldance by Gary Geddes

Skaldance

byGary Geddes

Paperback | January 22, 2004

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Gary Geddes's ancestors fished herring off the Orkney Islands, but his own fishing takes a different form. His new poetry collection, Skaldance, weaves in and out of the history of the islands like the wind, ocean, and invaders that have shaped the unique Norse-Scottish landscape and culture of the Orkadians.

An outsider with a stake in these remote northern islands, Geddes takes on the role of Skald, the poet of Old Norse tradition, who reports on love, politics, and the past. With wry, quiet humour or bold theatricality, Geddes establishes connections with a people and a land where his forebears lived long ago. Neolithic voices, Viking graffiti, and a fourteenth-century Venetian voyager all have their say in the polyphony of speakers created by Geddes.

So, too, do Armada refugees, Hudson's Bay Company recruits, and Italian POWs in these breathtaking poems that transcend period and time. Like the Scottish film Breaking the Waves, the tragic events of these poems are made bearable by moments of black humour. Yet, Geddes's long narrative poems also reverse the process, disarming readers with laughter before delivering the emotional punch.

Whether light-hearted or tragic, ironically detached or passionately engaged, the poems in Skaldance are deeply felt, intelligent, witty, and exquisitely crafted.

Gary Geddes was born in Vancouver and raised mostly on the west coast, where he gill netted, loaded boxcars at BC Sugar Refinery, stocked shelves at Woodwards, worked as a fishing guide at Whytecliffe, taught on Texada Island, and drove a water-taxi. After doing graduate studies at Reading University in England and at the University of...
Title:SkaldanceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:104 pages, 8.49 × 3.77 × 0.28 inPublished:January 22, 2004Publisher:Goose Lane EditionsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0864923872

ISBN - 13:9780864923875

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Gary Geddes's ancestors fished herring off the Orkney Islands, but his own fishing takes a different form. His new poetry collection, Skaldance, weaves in and out of the history of the islands like the wind, ocean, and invaders that have shaped the unique Norse-Scottish landscape and culture of the Orkadians. An outsider with a stake in these remote northern islands, Geddes takes on the role of Skald, the poet of Old Norse tradition, who reports on love, politics, and the past. With wry, quiet humour or bold theatricality, Geddes establishes connections with a people and a land where his forebears lived long ago. Neolithic voices, Viking graffiti, and a fourteenth-century Venetian voyager all have their say in the polyphony of speakers created by Geddes. So, too, do Armada refugees, Hudson's Bay Company recruits, and Italian POWs in these breathtaking poems that transcend period and time. Like the Scottish film Breaking the Waves, the tragic events of these poems are made bearable by moments of black humour. Yet, Geddes's long narrative poems also reverse the process, disarming readers with laughter before delivering the emotional punch. Whether light-hearted or tragic, ironically detached or passionately engaged, the poems in Skaldance are deeply felt, intelligent, witty, and exquisitely crafted."Skaldance is faultless. I like the narrative strategies, I marvel at them. And the way Geddes moves inside varieties of language, from the colloquial to quotation. And the novel's worth of characters." — Robert Kroetsch