The Hidden Room: Volume 1 by P. K. PageThe Hidden Room: Volume 1 by P. K. Page

The Hidden Room: Volume 1

byP. K. Page

Paperback | August 30, 1997

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The Hidden Room is filled with treasure gathered from over five decades of some of the best poetry ever written in Canada. Almost all of the poetry P. K. Page has published in volume form is here, all the way from Unit of Five (1944) to Hologram (1994), together with a good many unpublished poems and poems hitherto published only in magazines, from all stages of her career.

A section of luminous new poems completes the volume. Evening Dance of the Grey Flies and Hologram appear substantially as first published, though virtually every other section has undergone thoughtful reassessment by the author with the assistance of editor Stan Dragland. The Hidden Room is something more than simply a mechanical Collected. The inclusion of uncollected and new poems has demanded a re-choreographing, a reassortment of familiar poems into new families.

The Hidden Room is quite possibly the best collection of verse ever published in this country. This is the essential, rather than the entire P. K. Page, a lifetime of work that any poet would be proud to call their own.

P. K. Page wrote some of the best poems published in Canada over the last five decades. In addition to winning the Governor General's Award for poetry in 1957, she was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1999. She was the author of more than a dozen books, including ten volumes of poetry, a novel, short stories, eight books...
Title:The Hidden Room: Volume 1Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.71 × 5.62 × 0.78 inPublished:August 30, 1997Publisher:Porcupine's QuillLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:088984190X

ISBN - 13:9780889841901

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Read from the Book

Planet EarthIt has to be spread out, the skin of this planet,has to be ironed, the sea in its whiteness;and the hands keep on moving,smoothing the holy surfaces. `In Praise of Ironing', Pablo NerudaIt has to be loved the way a laundress loves her linens,the way she moves her hands caressing the fine muslinsknowing their warp and woof,like a lover coaxing, or a mother praising.It has to be loved as if it were embroideredwith flowers and birds and two joined hearts upon it.It has to be stretched and stroked.It has to be celebrated.O this great beloved world and all the creatures in it.It has to be spread out, the skin of this planet.The trees must be washed, and the grasses and mosses.They have to be polished as if made of green brass.The rivers and little streams with their hidden cressesand pale-coloured pebblesand their fool's goldmust be washed and starched or shined into brightness,the sheets of lake watersmoothed with the handand the foam of the oceans pressed into neatness.It has to be ironed, the sea in its whitenessand pleated and goffered, the flower-blue seathe protean, wine-dark, grey, green, seawith its metres of satin and bolts of brocade.And sky -- such an O! overhead -- night and daymust be burnished and rubbedby hands that are lovingso the blue blazons forthand the stars keep on shiningwithin and aboveand the hands keep on moving.

Table of Contents

The Hidden Room

To Begin Before I Was Born

Emergence 15
The Crow 16
The Mole 16
Ecce Homo 17
The Clock of Your Pulse 19
Desiring Only 20
The Understatement 21
Remember the Wood 22
Winter Afternoon 23
Death 25
For G.E.R. 25
As on a Dark Charger 26

Night Garden

Journey 29
Round Trip 30
From Uncertain Ground 36
Personal Landscape 38
Magnetic North 39
Images of Angels 41
Christmas Eve ... 44
Earthquake 45
Arras 46
Photos of a Salt Mine 48
The Snowman 50
Mystics Like Miners 52
Stories of Snow 53
The Age of Ice 55
This Cold Man 59
This Is Another Spring 60
Elegy 62

The Leaning Tower of Self

If It Were You 65
The Sleeper 68
Alice 69
Paranoid 71
Portrait of Marina 72
Sailor 74
Only Child 75
Snapshot 77
Neurotic 78
Schizophrenic 79
Outcasts 80
Foreigner 81
Freak 82
Man with One Small Hand 84
Isolationist 85
The Sick 86
Probationer 88
Element 90
Sleeper 91
Nightmare 92
Subjective Eye 93
The Dreamer 94


Landlady 97
Bed-Sitting Room 99
Offices 100
Prediction without Crystal 101
The Stenographers 102
Typists 103
Shipbuilding Office 104
The Petition 105
Presentation 107
Summer Resort 108
The Inarticulate 109
Panorama 110
Bank Strike 111
Squatters 112
The Permanent Tourists 113
Average 114
Quarrel 115
Election Day 116
Prophecy 118
No Flowers 119
Knitters 120
The Sentimental Surgeon 122
Generation 125
Cullen 127
Forgive Us 130
The Event 131
Puppets 132
Waking 134
Paradox 135
Migration 136
Draughtsman 137
Some There Are Fearless 138
Italian Prisoner of War 139
Old Man 140
Unable to Hate or Love 141

Melanie's Nite-Book

Melanie's Nite-Book 145

Evening Dance of the Grey Flies

Finches Feeding 158
The Flower Bed 159
Short Spring Poem ... 161
Out Here: Flowering 162
Domestic Poem ... 163
Conchita Knows Who Who Is 164
Cullen Revisited 165
For Mstislav Rostropovich ... 167
Motel Pool 169
Stefan 170
Ecology 171
Phone Call from Mexico 173
Custodian 177
Fly: On Webs 178
About Death 179
A Grave Illness 180
Ours 181
Voyager 183
Evening Dance of the Grey Flies 185
Unless the Eye Catch Fire 187
The Selves 209
The Filled Pen 210
Snowshoes 211
Albino Pheasants ... 213
The Maze 215
The First Part 216
Full Moon 220
Dwelling Place 221
Difficult 222
The Tethers 223
The Disguises 225
After Donne 225
Song ... Much of It Borrowed 226
Star-Gazer 226
Chinese Boxes 227
At Sea 228
Spinning 229
Three Gold Fish 230
The Yellow People ... 231

Index of First Lines 235

From Our Editors

The Hidden Room is an anthology of poetry gathered from five decades of P.K Page's work, including Unit of Five and Hologram. There is something from all of the stages of Page's career, and closes with a set of luminous new poems. Page is the author of more than 12 books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.

Editorial Reviews

`The mystical and transcendental are fundamental to Page's sensibility. Yet when she is most obviously a visionary, her poetry is least effective. The "gold smiles" of her angels are unconvincing; her golden seraphim are too assured to create the tension on which poetry thrives. She becomes successful when her vision is acted out in natural settings using less "poetic" symbolism, and when the visionary world is counterpoised with the humdrum, banal, or violent. In an effective poem like "The Bands & the Beautiful Children", music and the imagination are set against the reality of "straggling grass" and "men tired and grumbling". In her best poems she goes beyond such dualities. "Stories of Snow" tells of those living in a world of "great flowers.with reds and blues" who dream of a world of whiteness, hunters, and death. What makes this poem remarkable, aside from its dream-inducing cadence and its paradoxical rhymes, is the irony that the white, violent terrain is also gentle, mystical, and as beautiful as the lush, colourful one. This blurring of the typical dichotomies gives the poem a layered depth, a metaphysical aura.'