The Exile's Papers: The Face As Its Thousand Ships by Wayne CliffordThe Exile's Papers: The Face As Its Thousand Ships by Wayne Clifford

The Exile's Papers: The Face As Its Thousand Ships

byWayne Clifford

Paperback | October 1, 2009

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The second work in a series of four that will eventually include 800 sonnets. The Face as its Thousand Ships continues where The Duplicity of Autobiography left off. Clifford maintains a deft ability to work the sonnet form. An exceptional work that functions as both an important cog in a series, and as a stand-alone work of art.

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 Face As Its Thousand ShipsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 8.8 × 5.6 × 0.65 inPublished:October 1, 2009Publisher:Porcupine's QuillLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889843171

ISBN - 13:9780889843172

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From the Author

Ezra Pound, a native son, many of whose jingles have become wisdom, advised his peers to make it new. That Modern man fashioned his exile out of his Idahoan accent, and prestidigitated his charisma into a disguise for what was otherwise a romantic troubadour. Fashion's, of course, what comes 'round again, and sonnets, especially in sequences (which Ezra wished to make as passe as Chicago's District Attorney now intends to show is the seigneural capitalism demonstrated so nobly by our very own Connie, Lord VeryCross) have sprouted through the concrete slabs of the mall-mindedness of this continent's verse. Since the sonnet was first defined into English by another, more convincing lord -- Surrey -- about 500 years ago, it has acquired turns and springings and enough washings, foldings, stretchings, twistings and shrinkings to have its sizing leak out to the chaos that reclaims us all. As a hairshirt, it's become as pliant as any vestment for covering an ass in a day busy about money- earning, kid-care, mate-talk, and household chores. Books are again being written about the sonnet, its strategies explained by degreed, tenured and funded experts. Anthologies of its examples are being compiled. Young writers are unafraid to use it. And, because, as form-muse for the responsive craftsman, the sonnet demands clean lines to the thinking it takes in, convincing volume for the feeling it embraces, purity of each whole-at-once `Wow!' that intuition pulls from its commodious sleeve, the making of a sonnet honours a long, an historical, conversation held wherever fine English is spoken. In his preface to the collaboration with Coleridge, W. Wordsworth (who expressed the need for honest feeling in verse, but would wait for Ez to tell the rest of us `Only emotion endures.') wrote that those willing to be pleased by the poems would likely read them with more than common pleasure, and `Those who should dislike them would read with more than common dislike'. Here for your judgment is the first of four sequences of sonnets, many singularities and passages of which require you as reader to step well outside your conception of an ordinary book's boundaries, and the whole of which is a long, but decidedly not linear, journey. Some who've read these sonnets have reported a very much greater pleasure than they've had or could expect from a book of poetry written recently on this continent. Some of those, of course, are politely acquainted with the author. And some really hated it. One, who collects lists of clichés from his peers' work, suggested I cut the collection down to twenty-five. None, thank the fates, have been, so far, indifferent.I'll be dead before we see who's right.This gathering together of sonnets isn't a journal, nor a novel, nor straightforwardly a record. It's a system, closer to what Blake tried in the prophetic books, what Whitman bragged in his inventions, what Pound, it is largely agreed, failed at in the Cantos. And any writing of a group of sonnets after Berryman necessarily acknowledges that raggy man. Any poetry anywhere in any English, after the far-off Eliot, must know its place. Since I'm a Canadian, also a native son, well enough educated to write sonnets, curious enough to see where they take my evolving questions, and far enough outside the organized leagues of the national and other collectives to have very little to lose of celebrity, or prizes, or arts grants, I'll present to you this exile, who, like Ez, like Thomas Stearns, speaks quite inventive English, and has some things to say of, for, and to his age.In the uncountry that's English-speaking Canada on a continent the neighbours claim entirely by referring to themselves as Americans, it's easy to be exile. But since I'm fully American, too, born in Toronto, North America, and brought to adulthood understanding the long noses looked down all the way from London and New York, then by that peculiar delusion out of which a poet knows the worth of the offering, I am who can understand the exile of Emily Dickinson's example. Rex Murphy, the CBC's marvellously opinionated and animate thesaurus, has told me, today, that Connie Black is one of the greatest personalities this country (by which he means my part of the fragmented colonies well away from the Centres of Real Power) has ever sent on to the great stage of the world (meaning London and New York, the Centres of Real Power). The exile's gone the other way, but the stories of his journey are always the story of each of us about to fall from the friendly acquaintance of the administrators of the polity. I'll thank here the many who read versions and by comment or its lack, helped shape the still ongoing collection, and thank those who as models came directly into text. I'll name none save the dogs and the dead. If the rest can figure out who you are, and take offence, I'll expect

Editorial Reviews

`Here is love is purified, his worries sublime, his advice what he would call his ``tenderest must''.... The message is simple: what we wish for is more complicated than just the wishing, and that when we get our wish, we are often left dissatisfied. But what a beauty of expression, the idea that wishes, the stuff of the thinking of childhood, are what we in fact are wishing for all along, that the wishes realized will have their cons. Wishes come true on their own time, no matter how passionate the wanting, and indeed that passion comprises wishes themselves. It's a poem, mind, and it accomplishes its music and sense concordantly. But reading masterworks like this one, one realizes that there's something about the female child that unlocks the poet's expression of fatherhood. He's unrestrained.'