Open Wide a Wilderness: Canadian Nature Poems (Environmental Humanities)

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9781554580330: Open Wide a Wilderness: Canadian Nature Poems (Environmental Humanities)

The first anthology to focus on the rich tradition of Canadian nature poetry in English, Open Wide a Wilderness is a survey of Canada’s regions, poetries, histories, and peoples as these relate to the natural world. The poetic responses included here range from the heights of the sublime to detailed naturalist observation, from the perspectives of pioneers and those who work in the woods and on the sea to the dismayed witnesses of ecological destruction, from a sense of terror in confrontation with the natural world to expressions of amazement and delight at the beauty and strangeness of nature, our home. Arranged chronologically, the poems include excerpts from late-eighteenth-century colonial pioneer epics and selections from both well-known and more obscure nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers. A substantial section is devoted to contemporary writers who are working within and creating a new ecopoetic aesthetic in the early twenty-first century.

Don McKay’s introductory essay, “Great Flint Singing,” explores in McKay’s inimitable way the thorny issues of Canadian poets’ representations of nature over the past 150 years. Focusing on key texts by Duncan Campbell Scott, Charles G.D. Roberts, Earle Birney, Dennis Lee, and others, the essay traces Wordsworthian influences in a New World context, celebrates Canadian poets’ love of natural history observation, and finds a way through a rich and contradictory tradition to current trends in ecopoetics.

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About the Author:

Nancy Holmes has published four collections of poetry, most recently Mandorla (2005). She has lived in Alberta, Ontario, and, most recently, British Columbia, where she teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The Hornéd Larks in Winter by Ethelwyn Wetherald

Where the tufted red-root

Rises from the snow,

See the flock of hornéd larks

Crouching low,

Beating, shaking all the seeds

From the dry pods of the weeds,

Calling from the knolls and furrows

As they go.

Lovers of the plowed field

And the open sun,

Pacing thoughtfully the ruts

One by one.

On each delicate small head

Black and white are closely wed,

And the horn-like tufts are lowered

When they run.

Serious little fellows!

Who would e’er surmise

That such grave field labourers

Could arise,

Shaking from their yellow throats

Ravishing cloud-surrounded notes,

Flinging up the joy of springtime

To the skies.

(1931)

Black Bear by Douglas LePan

Sweet-mouth, honey-paws, hairy one!

you don't prowl much in the history books

but you sure figure when choker-men, donkey-men, shanty-men

gather,

or pulp-savages, or top-riggers.

“I've seen me go up a tree so fast with one of them after me

I only had time to loosen my belt and give him my pants

or I'd been done for. ”

”When I came into the cook-house I knew there was something there.

And was there ever! A great big black bear.

He chased me round and round the table till I hauled off and hit the

dinner gong.

That shook him! He was out the door like a bat out of hell. ”

If only you could hear us talk, you would know how we love you

sweet-mouth, honey-paws, hairy one!

Cousin, comrade, and jester,

so like us as you pad along jocularly

looking for garbage and honey, and not leaving much trace,

dozing off (for a whole season--as who wouldn't want to?)

then when you waken, perhaps a little too devil-may-care,

not knowing your own strength, ready to carry a joke a little too far,

creature of moods, old man, young man, child,

sitting in a meadow eating blueberries by the bushful.

Don't you know how much we love you?

Old man, curled up in your lair? So come out and be killed, old man!

Sweet-mouth, honey-paws, hairy one!

(1982)

Alchemist by Elizabeth Brewster

Man, the evil magician,

brews, in the perishable cauldron

of rock and sand,

a violent fiery potion

melted lightning.

Foolish enchanter,

do not break

this great brown dish

with green edges

which has been in the family

all these years.

Where will you find another

to hold your children's supper?

(1972)

Axe Murderer by Sharon Thesen

Look out!

Run!

Here he comes

dragging his axe.

He drags it because

he is so evil & stupid

he cannot hold it up

Unlike the whistling woodcutter

who lives in the little log house.

Chop chop, chop chop

goes the axe.

Eek! and O my God!

say the trees and the women.

All this goes on

in the forest.

So you can relax.

(1999)

Load by Don McKay

We think this

the fate of mammals--to bear, be born,

be burden, to carry our own bones

as far as we can and know the force that earths us

intimately. Sometimes, while I was reading,

Sam would bestow one large paw on my foot,

as if to support my body

while its mind was absent--mute

commiseration, load to load, a message

like the velvet heaviness which comes

to carry you deliciously

asleep.

One morning

on the beach at Point Pelee, I met

a White-throated Sparrow so exhausted from the flight

across Lake Erie it just huddled in itself

as I crouched a few yards off.

I was thinking of the muscles in that grey-white breast,

pectoralis major powering each downstroke,

pectoralis minor with its rope-and-pulley tendon

reaching through the shoulder to the

top side of the humerus to haul it up again;

of the sternum with the extra keel it has evolved to

anchor all that effort, of the dark wind

and the white curl on the waves below, the slow dawn

and the thickening shoreline.

I wanted

very much to stroke it, and recalling

several terrors of my brief

and trivial existence, didn't.

(2000)

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Don McKay
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Descripción Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Canada, 2009. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The first anthology to focus on the rich tradition of Canadian nature poetry in English, Open Wide a Wilderness is a survey of Canada s regions, poetries, histories, and peoples as these relate to the natural world. The poetic responses included here range from the heights of the sublime to detailed naturalist observation, from the perspectives of pioneers and those who work in the woods and on the sea to the dismayed witnesses of ecological destruction, from a sense of terror in confrontation with the natural world to expressions of amazement and delight at the beauty and strangeness of nature, our home. Arranged chronologically, the poems include excerpts from late-eighteenth-century colonial pioneer epics and selections from both well-known and more obscure nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers. A substantial section is devoted to contemporary writers who are working within and creating a new ecopoetic aesthetic in the early twenty-first century. Don McKay s introductory essay, Great Flint Singing, explores in McKay s inimitable way the thorny issues of Canadian poets representations of nature over the past 150 years. Focusing on key texts by Duncan Campbell Scott, Charles G.D. Roberts, Earle Birney, Dennis Lee, and others, the essay traces Wordsworthian influences in a New World context, celebrates Canadian poets love of natural history observation, and finds a way through a rich and contradictory tradition to current trends in ecopoetics. Nº de ref. de la librería AAG9781554580330

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Nancy Holmes (editor), Don McKay (introduction)
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Descripción Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2009. Estado de conservación: New. 2009. 0th Edition. Paperback. An anthology that focuses on the tradition of Canadian nature poetry in English. It surveys Canada's regions, poetries, histories, and people as these relate to the natural world. It features a section that deals with contemporary writers who are working within and creating a fresh ecopoetic aesthetic in the early twenty-first century. Editor(s): Holmes, Nancy. Num Pages: 534 pages. BIC Classification: DC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 228 x 153 x 32. Weight in Grams: 760. . . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9781554580330

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Don McKay
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Descripción Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Canada, 2009. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The first anthology to focus on the rich tradition of Canadian nature poetry in English, Open Wide a Wilderness is a survey of Canada s regions, poetries, histories, and peoples as these relate to the natural world. The poetic responses included here range from the heights of the sublime to detailed naturalist observation, from the perspectives of pioneers and those who work in the woods and on the sea to the dismayed witnesses of ecological destruction, from a sense of terror in confrontation with the natural world to expressions of amazement and delight at the beauty and strangeness of nature, our home. Arranged chronologically, the poems include excerpts from late-eighteenth-century colonial pioneer epics and selections from both well-known and more obscure nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers. A substantial section is devoted to contemporary writers who are working within and creating a new ecopoetic aesthetic in the early twenty-first century. Don McKay s introductory essay, Great Flint Singing, explores in McKay s inimitable way the thorny issues of Canadian poets representations of nature over the past 150 years. Focusing on key texts by Duncan Campbell Scott, Charles G.D. Roberts, Earle Birney, Dennis Lee, and others, the essay traces Wordsworthian influences in a New World context, celebrates Canadian poets love of natural history observation, and finds a way through a rich and contradictory tradition to current trends in ecopoetics. Nº de ref. de la librería AAG9781554580330

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Descripción Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Estado de conservación: New. 2009. 0th Edition. Paperback. An anthology that focuses on the tradition of Canadian nature poetry in English. It surveys Canada's regions, poetries, histories, and people as these relate to the natural world. It features a section that deals with contemporary writers who are working within and creating a fresh ecopoetic aesthetic in the early twenty-first century. Editor(s): Holmes, Nancy. Num Pages: 534 pages. BIC Classification: DC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 228 x 153 x 32. Weight in Grams: 760. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9781554580330

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Descripción Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Not Signed; The first anthology to focus on the rich tradition of Canadian nature poetry in English, Open Wide a Wilderness is a survey of Canada's regions, poetries, histories, and peoples as these relate to the natural world. The poetic responses included here range from the heights of the sublime to detailed. book. Nº de ref. de la librería ria9781554580330_rkm

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