A Canadian poet's last words
A sense of ego-urgency has seemingly sucked hard on any high octane left in my system, and what used to take me a decade and more to accomplish as a writer has suddenly fruited within a 12-month time frame.
- Joe Sherman, December 2005
The result is Beautiful Veins, Joe Sherman's final book of poems. Joseph Sherman, author of seven books of poetry, editor, and supporter of the arts, died on January 9, 2006, in Charlottetown. He was 60.
Beautiful Veins begins with the picture of a child, of "one life with all the promise of its beautiful veins." Some of the poems catch details of domestic life and its indwelling spirit and glancing irony; they explore the cache of memory. Others evoke history and landscape, opening them up to careful consideration. Always there is a love of language and its quirks, oddities, split-levels, riches. Out of the intricate and elliptical syntax, moments of joy are discovered, named against the threat of time and illness.
About the author
Joseph Sherman. The author of four collections of poetry, Joseph Sherman has been the editor of ARTSatlantic, Charlottetown, since 1979. A version of "A Jewish Child's Christmas in Cape Breton" was part of a longer memoir, written in 1970, when Sherman was a graduate student at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. In slightly different form, it was broadcast locally and regionally on CBC Radio at Christmas, 1994. It appears here by permission of the author.