Showing posts from July, 2015

So Awesomely Cheeky: In Conversation with Linda Besner

I met Linda Besner when we read Tolstoy out loud together one autumn in a small group. Things would bubble up through her reading: undercurrents in dialogue, subtle complexities of society and politics. We'd forget it was snowing, or late, or that we had work yet to do. That the same ebullience turns up in her poetry and her talk is not the least bit surprising, and a great delight. SUSAN GILLIS: How did you first come to poetry—or, if you prefer, how did poetry come to you? LINDA BESNER: I didn’t get exposed to poetry much in school, but when I was a kid my family had a tonne of British story tapes—Wind in the Willows, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan—all read by actors. I think I got a lot of my interest in prosody from listening to those recitations over and over. Then in Cégep I got interested in the Greeks—I still have my little copy of Richmond Lattimore’s translation of Greek Lyrics with notes from when I was seventeen—“Opposes the heroic view of ‘Come back with your shiel

Linda Besner: A Poem

Linda Besner PARIS IN THE THE SPRING We were orbiting the étoile of the Arc de Triomphe in its its traffic circle. We drove our attention before us and in in her silver heels she ran revolutions, her braided mane lashing the reins of our chariot. Maypoling the neoclassically naked men and angels, in our haste to sightsee we swung past what what we saw, kept losing the Louvre, eliding the Élysées. Like astronauts who, sans gravity’s lorgnette, can’t can’t tell a white vase from black faces. Then a gap in traffic burst upon us like a clock radio revival tent. The parking meter, an Eiffel smoothed flat, now now sprang into view. My father, the cognitive scientist, was running alongside us. He motioned that his hand was caught in in the automatic window. I hadn’t noticed.  (from The Id Kid [Signal/Véhicule]. Reproduced by permission of the author.) Linda Besner’s poetry and non-fiction have appeared in magazines