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Poetry Canadian

A knife so sharp its edge cannot be seen

by (author) Erin Noteboom

Brick Books
Initial publish date
Apr 2023
Canadian, Death, Women Authors
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price

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A radiant collection that employs the lyric poem as a tool for scientific and emotional exploration.

Erin Noteboom's A knife so sharp its edge cannot be seen takes exact and exquisite measurement of what carries a voice through illness, grief, loss, and through the failures and triumphs of work and love. Various theories and hypotheses are tested in these poems: sadness is knowledge and science "is only half a turn from love." Whether Noteboom is examining the life and work of physicist Marie Curie or compressing imagistic gems from plaintive, important questions like "What lasts?", there is everywhere in these poems a shadow-scratching curiosity, vital research, and an acknowledgement of the long waits in a life between discoveries. An essential marriage between the arts and science, A knife so sharp its edge cannot be seen is full of poems that readers will savour long after closing their eyes and raising the vial.

About the author

Erin Noteboom is a physicist turned poet turned children's novelist, whose honours include the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, the CBC Literary Award for poetry, and a Governor General's Award. She has previously published two volumes of poetry, Ghost Maps: Poems for Carl Hruska (2003) and Seal Up the Thunder (2005), as well as a memoir, The Mongoose Diaries: Excerpts from a Mother's First Year (2007). Her novels for young readers (published under her married name, Erin Bow) are Plain Kate, Sorrow's Knot, The Scorpion Rules, The Swan Riders, and the middle-grade novel Stand on the Sky, which was winner of the 2020 Governor General's Award for Young People's Literature. Erin's day job is writing about things like black holes and quantum gravity at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario.

Erin Noteboom's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Erin Noteboom's is an elemental poetry of bones, salt, water, dust, and at the same time a celebration on all things as holy. [H]er gift is to flare the ordinary detail as well as the extraordinary event into vision, meaning, and the maginification of spirit." — Jane Hirshfield

"I have long been a fan of Erin Noteboom's poetry. And no wonder. These new poems are as good as it gets." — Lorna Crozier

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