K.L. McKAY: BAREFOOT THROUGH THE PICKYBUSHES
Dept. of English
University of Ottawa
ISBN 1 896362 39 7
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|K.L. McKAY: BAREFOOT THROUGH THE PICKYBUSHES|
This collection has been lovingly produced by the author, published in a limited edition of 300 copies, each hand-stamped, sewn and numbered by the author. And it is simply, a delight.
Twenty-one wonderfully considered poems meticulously presented on the page, then carefully assembled and hand-sewn and blocked. Thus there is a very real sense of being favoured by the poet in the receipt of the work.
Clearly these are poems of nostalgia and beginnings, poems of past loves and relationships as well as signage towards eternity.
In MEETING PAUL BUNYAN a relationship still echoes:
we are harboured ancient hamadryad I held your hand through planted husbandry endless falls of pining together we carve legends into wood paint fingers lips and tongues blue as your bull blood red as my beguin I am axefall the timbre of your voice clutching bare the branchesIn S.O.S. there is a longing for the past:
there are satellites in my backyard searching signs of spring and the first flight out of here ... this city knows nothing of the wilds of my childhood it has never run barefoot through the pickybushesand this is a thought continued in WE ALL SN0WFALL
what time can never bring us back a room peppered to grey ex- amorists pharos fading can not stand still it never did as we cartwheel through the prairies high on wooden horses and youthThere are remembrances of grandparents in PIPERE and MIMERE and the inherent sadness of THREE RAVENS:
Three Ravens danced through the air on the day you were born ... when you were taken just one dark shadow followed carrying long ribbons of wind in your wakeIn the closing lines of TO SLEEP IN SIX CITIES we meet the poet
if you bend to read this topography of assembled dreams you will hear me softly, barefoot singing down my prayers at the beginning of my seventh sleepand possibly recognise the cadences of Yeats and Dylan Thomas that creep affectionately into her verses.
BAREFOOT THROUGH THE PICKYBUSHES is a collection to acquire for all manner of reasons. It is, as I have said, a delight for any reader and should be read and re-read. And it should be prescribed for aspiring poets to see how it should be done
|reviewer: John Cartmel-Crossley|