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Poetry Canadian

Bedlam Cowslip

The John Clare Poems

by (author) Jeanette Lynes

Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.
Initial publish date
Oct 2015
Canadian, English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2015
    List Price

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Winner of the 2016 Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Award

In this collection Jeanette Lynes' follows in the tradition of Michael Ondaatje's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. In Bedlam Cowslip, she turns her attention to the life and work of John Clare, the great Victorian poet of the countryside, one of England's greatest working-class bards. In these poems, the Romantic world of Clare, strewn with wild flowers and dizzy with birdsong, is visited by a new, postmodern voice, and the conversation that ensues across a dozen decades is profound and dazzling.

Painstakingly researched and deftly crafted, the poems share Clare's loves, ambitions, rages and failures. With lines that echo the sharpness of Dorothy Livesay and the richness of Roo Borson, Lynes writes of madness, scarce paper and of the intense attention Clare brought to his world. In this book Lynes has created an uplifting poetic biography on a bright poetic star that has been rising for over a century.

About the author

It's Hard Being Queen: The Dusty Springfield Poems is Jeanette Lynes` fourth collection of poetry. Her previous collections are Left Fields (Wolsak and Wynn, 2003, shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award), The Aging Cheerleader’s Alphabet (Mansfield Press, 2003), and A Woman Alone on the Atikokan Highway (Wolsak and Wynn, 1999). Her awards include the Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, the Bliss Carman Award, and first prize in the Grain Postcard Story Competition. She has been a visiting artist / writer-in-residence at Queen’s University, Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek, and the Saskatoon Public Library, as well as a faculty member of Francis Xavier University and the Sage Hill Writing Experience. She is currently co-editor of The Antigonish Review.Jeanette Lynes grew up on a farm in Alice Munro country while "Son of a Preacher Man" played on transistor radios everywhere.

Jeanette Lynes' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A real rapacious romp through the fields of blooms and language. The reader instantly draws closer to Clare and his era through Lynes? wicked ability to empathize with the thoughts, motions, aches and losses of this singular poet." - Marrow Reviews

"By contemporizing Clare's language with dazzling wit, Lynes generously transfers her brilliance to her subject." - Arc Poetry Magazine

"Cloaking herself in the linguistic and political passions of a nineteenth-century peasant-poet boy wonder, Lynes succeeds in reanimating a remarkable, singular voice that might otherwise be hard for many contemporary ears to truly hear, while at the same time inflecting it with her own accent: that of a woman writing in the post-colonial twenty-first century, many generations after the societal changes and tensions that affected Clare, but in a time when his own concerns ring ominously clear." - Fiddlehead

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