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For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems
     

For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems

by John Barton
 
Drawn from nine collections published over thirty years, the thirty-eight poems in this retrospective reveal the poetic accomplishments of John Barton. In this collection, which is introduced by R.M Vaughan, Barton explores the role of love in contemporary society, the complexity of gay experience, the persistence of homophobia, the reinvention of the idea of family,

Overview

Drawn from nine collections published over thirty years, the thirty-eight poems in this retrospective reveal the poetic accomplishments of John Barton. In this collection, which is introduced by R.M Vaughan, Barton explores the role of love in contemporary society, the complexity of gay experience, the persistence of homophobia, the reinvention of the idea of family, and the fear and courage that AIDS engendered and how it continues to shape the search and attainment of intimacy.

This selected embraces Barton's passions for art, literature, the city and nature, including his ongoing passion for Emily Carr with four poems drawn from West of Darkness. Other personages make cameo appearances, including Andy Warhol, Frank O'Hara, Joseph Brodsky, M.C. Escher and C. P. Cavafy. Adolf Hitler has a dialogue-free, walk-on part early on.

What Barton accomplishes in For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin is best described by Barry Dempster: "This book reminds us of John Barton's stature as a consummate social poet, a topnotch lyricist, and a risk-taker of sometimes breathtaking scale."

Editorial Reviews

Praise for For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin
In For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems, John Barton deftly etches a poetic and personal history of the homosexual impulse from ancient to contemporary times. In the tour de force opening poem, "The Pregnant Man" (from The Photographer), Barton elliptically and with playful humour suggests the clash between this unstoppable same-sex male erotic impulse and society, hinting at the homosexual male's resistance to society's conforming principle at the same time that society attempts to thwart or disavow the impulse's existence.
--Gillian Harding-Russell, Prairie Fire Review of Books
From the Publisher
In For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems, John Barton deftly etches a poetic and personal history of the homosexual impulse from ancient to contemporary times. In the tour de force opening poem, "The Pregnant Man" (from The Photographer), Barton elliptically and with playful humour suggests the clash between this unstoppable same-sex male erotic impulse and society, hinting at the homosexual male's resistance to society's conforming principle at the same time that society attempts to thwart or disavow the impulse's existence.
--Gillian Harding-Russell, Prairie Fire Review of Books

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780889712706
Publisher:
Nightwood Editions
Publication date:
09/15/2012
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

John Barton has published nine previous collections of awardwinning poetry, six chapbooks, and two anthologies, including Hidden Structure; West of Darkness: Emily Carr, A Self-Portrait; Sweet Ellipsis; Seminal: The Anthology of Canada's Gay-Male Poets and Hymn. He has won three Archibald Lampman Awards, a Patricia Hackett, an Ottawa Book Award, a CBC Literary Award and a National Magazine Award. Born and raised in Alberta, he worked as a librarian and editor for five national museums in Ottawa, where he also co-edited Arc Poetry Magazine and Vernissage: The Magazine of the National Gallery of Canada. John Barton lives in Victoria, where he edits The Malahat Review. For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin is his tenth book.

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