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Showing posts from December, 2020

UPWELLING WITH SWEET EELS

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This poem by Susan Buis from Gatecrasher might be more explicitly a praise poem than some others in this striking collection (Invisible Publishing, 2019). Its active soundscape makes it, for me, one of the most pleasurable.   Susan Buis OSPREY   For the dive, for the strike and clutch muscles shiver in communion to hold a hover through gusts  bending air to arc, wavering a spread fan, wings tensile as spring branches. In the gap before the articulate plunge all trembles but the eye  fixed on a brackish creek upwelling with sweet eels that thrive in briny confluence and streaks of red weed swaying in the gullet --  weed that's weft for a scavenged wood warp, mass of nest to weave another stick through. From its first line, this swift-moving poem makes the osprey visible. Precise verbs and the repeated word "for" signal a praise poem in the tradition of Hopkins; a poem dedicated to the osprey's majesty and power. By line two, "for" shifts reference to what'

CONCRETE LIKE FIRE: MARY SODERSTROM IN CONVERSATION

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Storage pyramids at McInnis Cement. Mary Soderstrom photo   In this post, Concrete & River makes a brief departure from poetry to chat with Mary Soderstrom about her most recent book, CONCRETE: From Ancient Origins to a Problematic Future (Regina: University of Regina Press, 2020). SUSAN GILLIS: Thanks, Mary, for talking about your book Concrete in this slightly unconventional context, a poetry blog. When I saw the advance notices, I couldn't resist following up with you, and I'm glad I did.  In the book's first chapter, you recount thinking and writing about roads, both literal and metaphorical, and “as one thing leads to another,” you began to consider concrete as a material. Can you pinpoint a moment you knew you were going to take concrete as the subject for a book? MARY SODERSTROM: I came up with the idea in the fall of 2016 when I was finishing up Road through Time: The Story of Humanity on the Move . I like to have a project on the go always, and concrete se