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Before We Had Words

Overview

Words across a Ouija Board: Memory is the mother of the Muses, said the Greeks. What we write are shadows of recollections, fictions growing out of other fictions. But now these words grow out of memory failing, as where and when blanch slowly to perhaps. The two who sheltered from the sudden downpour, hugging close, or woke to each other in the dark, or quarreled hatefully-were they snatches of old stories, or were you once my wife? Death veils you in the features of passers-by, and age makes yellow secrets of ...

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Montreal 2002 paperback New 19cm, 112p, The Hugh Maclennan Poetry Series, French-fold chapbook.

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Overview

Words across a Ouija Board: Memory is the mother of the Muses, said the Greeks. What we write are shadows of recollections, fictions growing out of other fictions. But now these words grow out of memory failing, as where and when blanch slowly to perhaps. The two who sheltered from the sudden downpour, hugging close, or woke to each other in the dark, or quarreled hatefully-were they snatches of old stories, or were you once my wife? Death veils you in the features of passers-by, and age makes yellow secrets of our letters, until the past is unalloyed with circumstance, and becomes pure moments of unearned deserving.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780773524491
  • Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Series: Hugh MacLennan Poetry Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.64 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Table of Contents

A Window Seat 3
Hide and Seek 4
Remembering Father and Son 5
Monologue for Two 6
Sizes 8
Words Across a Ouija Board 9
Before We Had Words 10
She 11
Visitation Rites 12
Question and Answer 13
The Departure 14
The Visit 15
Love Among the Ruins 19
Saturday Matinees 20
The Kiss 21
Hearsay 22
A Second Chance 23
Sleeping Froggy 24
from Album Leaves 25
Egyptian Funerary Statue 30
Sweet and Wholesome as a Carrot 32
Sketches 35
Wes 36
The Parrot-Beau 37
By His Own Hand 39
A Minor Role 40
A Writer for the Forward 42
Portrait in Ink 44
First Things in Leviathan 45
Filippo's Palace 47
February Letter 51
Dining Alone 52
Try Not to Say It 53
Triage 55
Western 56
Two Good-byes to Shirley 57
A Very Fine Cat 59
A Bad Few Weeks 60
The Ripples 61
Pushkin Insomniac: Two Translations 62
Introduction and Allegro 64
Last Things 67
Traffic 71
Late Nite Checkout 72
Howard's Questions 73
The Night Garden 74
The Noodle-Eaters 75
Emigres' Cafe 77
Expatriates' Lunch 79
Children's Massacre: 20.4.99 80
September 11, 2001 81
Black History 82
from The Sayings of Fabius Minimus 83
The Morning After the New Millennium 84
Recombinant DNB 86
West End 87
On the Proposed End of Poetry 93
Poetry at Night 94
My Chary Muse Defended 95
Dropping Bricks 96
The Contortionist 97
Occidental Errors 99
Chardin: The Jar of Apricots 100
Naked Men Fighting 101
Tapio Wirkkala at the Design Exchange 104
A Kind of Life 107
Sharing With Martin Luther 108
Epilogue: At David Mason's 109
Acknowledgments 112
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