Steady Hand by Mike Doyle, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Steady Hand

Steady Hand

by Mike Doyle
     
 

'Mike Doyle's collection A Steady Hand takes shape in dialogue with the texts of other poets and artists (for example, Anna Akhmatova, Max Ernst, Cesar Vellejo, W.S. Merwin), with diaries, journals, biographies, and pieces by and about painters -- particularly Klee. A Steady Hand tends to converse internationally. If that sounds very general, the

Overview

'Mike Doyle's collection A Steady Hand takes shape in dialogue with the texts of other poets and artists (for example, Anna Akhmatova, Max Ernst, Cesar Vellejo, W.S. Merwin), with diaries, journals, biographies, and pieces by and about painters -- particularly Klee. A Steady Hand tends to converse internationally. If that sounds very general, the particularity of this poet's community is that it is so literary/artistic; it is not easy to assign it any other sense (e.g., geographic) of community. One gets the strong sense of language itself being his home and native land.' --Laurel Boone, Canadian Literature

Editorial Reviews

Essays on Canadian Writing

'Mike Doyle's latest book, A Steady Hand, begins with a quotation from Joe Rosenblatt: "Last night I dreamt I had a beautiful hand". The hand becomes a metaphor for the creative process, one which for Doyle is a derivative but still a creative position. For this collection is, above all, controlled -- controlled in its language, its sources, its preoccupation with fact and organization. In "Adam at Evening", Doyle sees himself as a cataloguer, a poet who gives "a name, a gift, to each animal". This idea becomes a controlling fiction throughout the poem, though the poet admits at the end that "In the eyes / of my named animals I see / gathering darkness".'

— Roderick Harvey

The Malahat Review

'A Steady Hand is a good title for Mike Doyle's new collection, for its outstanding quality is the assurance and accomplishment of the poet's style. Doyle ranges from surrealist narrative to intimate love-poem, from loosely adapted translations of European poets to delicate lyrics of Canadian nature. While some readers may find the writing slightly detached and "academic", the majority will be impressed by the thorough intelligence and maturity of Doyle's craft, steeped as it is in the traditions of modernism. In poems like "Adam at Evening", Doyle shows himself at the height of his powers.'

The Windsor Star

'Reading A Strange Hand is a genuinely moving experience, for Doyle deftly brings in experience and apprehension while concentrating on the tiny miracles that occur every day. Some of his poems range into the territory of allusion, but even when he addresses subjects like Klee and Anna Akhmatova, he gracefully allows readers into his poems instead of shutting them out. "The Gloves" is a tour de force in itself and justifies the entire collection.'

— Judith Fitzgerald

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780889840706
Publisher:
Porcupine's Quill, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/15/1982
Pages:
92

Meet the Author

Mike Doyle came to Canada in 1968 and made his home in Victoria, BC. As a writer he has continuing ties both with Canada and New Zealand. His earlier volumes of poetry include Earth Meditations (Coach House Press) and Stonedancer (Auckland University Press / Oxford University Press). In New Zealand he won two national poetry prizes and his other awards include a UNESCO International Writers' Fellowship. His poems have been published in Germany, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, USA, India, Ireland, Britain and Canada. From 1969 to 1974 he edited the poetry magazine Tuatara. In 1976, an issue of Ellipse featured his work (along with that of the Paris/Quebec poet Robert Marteau).

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