The Exile's Papers: The Dirt's Passion Is Flesh Sorrow by Wayne CliffordThe Exile's Papers: The Dirt's Passion Is Flesh Sorrow by Wayne Clifford

The Exile's Papers: The Dirt's Passion Is Flesh Sorrow

byWayne Clifford

Paperback | October 1, 2011

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This is the third installment in acclaimed poet Wayne Clifford's series of sonnets, The Exile's Papers, a project decades in the making and now recognized as one of the most inventive creative projects ongoing in Canada.

Wayne Clifford was born in Toronto in 1944. He studied English at University College at the University of Toronto in the mid sixties during which time he came to be associated with a small coterie of students that included Stan Bevington, Dennis Reid, Doris and Judith Cowan, and David Bolduc. Wayne also remembers Tangiers Al, but not c...
Title:The Exile's Papers: The Dirt's Passion Is Flesh SorrowFormat:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 8.73 × 5.57 × 0.6 inPublished:October 1, 2011Publisher:Porcupine's QuillLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889843449

ISBN - 13:9780889843448

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From the Author

That morning I awake without desire to set the puzzle on the page winding toward some resolution is the moment of my most terrible liberation. No more to struggle with the many threads of making, the different knots and weaves, but simply sitting with the cup of coffee cooling in my hand, and staring out the window, satisfied with the compromise that there's the world, here am I, and nothing much matters but the slide toward nightfall, well, at least I'll be able to say aloud `So what?' with a convincing lack of conviction. I've tried a number of ways of making. Some years back, my experiments with brush and pigment led me to abandon pigment and apply clear water to unstretched paper, and then admire the ruckles so formed in a shadow-box. Those contracted convolvulus blossoms on otherwise virgin Arch sheets constituted the last sequence in Studies for a Filthy Postcard. Music, both spontaneous and orchestrated, resulted in the strange stuff that allowed me to understand why my favourite violist is Eyvind Kang, not perhaps a household name. Path-beating into the three dimensions brought me at one time to collecting and reassembling roadside detritus, muffler sleeves and other bits, some with faces, not necessarily of Jesus, more or less clearly portrayed. The finest example was an accidental shaping of a teenage mutant ninja turtle. But writing, writing has ever been my passion. Folk have a peculiar understanding of that word now. They don't seem, really, to remember what Jesus went through at all, let alone what motivated the cartoon character, Raphael. Mind you, I'm not talking messiah, or any other dupes of a desert god. I'm not saying there's any connection with the old story of Good fighting Evil. I'm certainly not talking about my importance, nor publication, nor prize-winning, nor carrying a card entitling some condition of my entry to the national literary circus. If an English-speaking Canada survives into the next phase of the process that's life on this planet, and wants a literary history, hopefully those someones more responsible than the present academics and other boosters will sort such a history out. And I may not be any part of it. There aren't desserts in a national myth, just needs. If a Sri-Lankan-born, British-schooled narrator of Unitedstatesean outlaws is more needful, well, I'll have drunk my coffee. In this long book, The Exile's Papers, I've written sonnets. Sonnets can be simply units, beads on a string, single bright shinies, but some can be concatenations making up chapters, or episodes. Sonnets are old in their cultural presence, and I enjoy them for that reason. Old presences remind me there are lineages beyond the cloying compression of all culture into pop culture that seems otherwise to go, in the narrow and recent now, unnoticed. Many Canadian poets, or North American poets, or even English-writing poets, don't have or want any longer the wherewithal to write sonnets successfully and convincingly, because sonnets are difficult, as exacting, as morphic, as Orphic forms. And to be most successful, they have to be reinvented with each writing. Most 'tators of the commen- variety don't understand such a simple fact. They think forms are for following, for mashing content into, not for re-inventing with each usage into a succulence of how and what and why. Exceptions? Yes. Enough, in Canada, to fill an anthology, as Zach Wells has done. David Helwig, for instance. There are those examples of his based on The New Testament I've found genuine, not because of the religious correspondence, but for the depth of feeling that brings alive for me a person caught in a struggle with a moral problem. And there remain some excellent practitioners in Britain, where the national myth is deeper rooted and more inclusive. But certainly not any stupidities of Modernism like the Unitedstatesean Ted Berrigan, as an instance, who pasted together a book he bragged The Sonnets, and then got talked into importance by the very needy in their construction of a very odd national myth. Solipsisms of navel fuzz and self-indulgences of dick cheese on his pages! Pity Helwig hasn't had a better, broader and much less deluded press than Speedfreak Ted! But then, who reads poetry in Canada? Not my mothers-in-law, and I've had a few; they've voiced their hopes that my writing sonnets doesn't lead to a future of more intense therapy than I've already had. And in an after-the-fact understanding of this blurb for this latest book, Part Three of The Exile's Papers, in which the dirt's passion is flesh sorrow, and in which I bitch as did Dante at and about those who've made my life harder, who've destroyed my personal myths of Santa Claus, goodness, mercy, trust, who have held the keys to the compromises and dealt out the disappointments, you should understand, reader, that eve

Read from the Book

Here, at the NowI set out on a journey. Someone elsecame back. And home seemed a mock-up elves had glued from shattered memories set falseagainst a much too perfect background. Selvesof who had been a tourist, who had boughtthe cheap, unpackable, bright, woven wares,persisted, as did those of he who soughtat last an absolution from the caresof things. Sunlight itself seemed thinned; the darkwas filled with shaky handholds, bed a griefthat brought a sleep with no relief, left starkafterimages of deserts, and the too briefcomprehension he was somewhere elseat last, this stranger rousing in my pulse.

Editorial Reviews

`As with the first two installments of The Exile's Papers quartet, The Dirt's Passion is Flesh Sorrow leaves the reader challenged and changed, both conceptually and intellectually.'