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Cascading Questions: Tanis MacDonald on Ascension and Decline in MOBILE

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Part two in an ongoing conversation. Read part one, Four Paths, here .  Susan Gillis: Reading Mobile , I can really hear the music in your language and feel the vitality of the characters. What I also find remarkable is the tender ferocity that runs through your poems. The Sybil elegies, the Jane poems, the irreverent and truth-telling bluestocking series – all have this candour that doesn’t shy from toughness, a frankness that’s also playful and caring. The image that keeps coming up for me as I think about this question occurs early on, in Elegy 4 of the Sybil elegies: the statue of the crucified woman on Philosophers Walk in Toronto. The poem asks, is she “rising or hanging, ascending / or dying?” This feels like a central question in the book. Does it have an answer? Which things, people, situations are ascendant and which are in decline, dying even? Or maybe, in what ways are the same things ascendant and in decline? Tanis MacDonald : I love this question; thanks so