The essence, the quintessence, of lyric poetry.
Sue Sinclair is the director inheritor of the great early 20th Century German poet, Rilke: she possesses intense lyrical vision, steeped in wonder at the existence of the world, and a kind of grief at our inability to lose ourselves in it completely. Her perception is acutely focused and rigorous; and she is acutely self-aware. She is not afraid of words like "beauty" or "being," yet, because of the intensity of her vision, she never uses them as clichŽs. Her gift for metaphor is astonishing and may remind some readers of the young Roo Borson.
You cross the heat-ridden ground, the sweet, brittle scent
of sage rising underfoot. So easy to pretend a single word
will occur to you, and that it will do all the good
anyone could hope. The earth is parched and lonely,
relies on dignity to protect it. Each thing hanging
by the thread of itself. Bleating crickets. Rustle of dry stalks.
The silence pushes you toward yourself:
It's time to walk deep into the heart of what troubles you.
&3150; from "Drought"
"In these poems, “the world lifts its head/and clarity pours from its back.' The world-reading in Sue Sinclair's Breaker, the ontology of the book, is magical and feels deeply true. All objects here exercise the power of a profound affective gravity; cities, islands, gardens and the savouring mind itself pull and accommodate the one who looks hard. Sinclair's poems shape us to be just this sort of fierce viewer. They have a moving, extraordinary facility to discern, taste, the sweet depths of things." -- Tim Lilburn
" ... The work of a poet who looks long and hard at the world to draw existential meaning. Her studious gaze is insightful, evenÑdare I say in this secular ageÑsoulful." Ñ Barbara Carey, The Toronto Star
" ... Recalls the pictorial imagism of Amy Lowell as well as the spiritual aspirations of Margaret Avison ... Sinclair has an artist's eye for beauty, but a soldier's stoic backbone." Ñ George Elliot Clarke, The Halifax Chronicle-Herald
"[Breaker] does not wish to entertain so much as edify, to prolong the great battle for a meaningful existence ... Her aim at the mysterious soul of a place and its objects is remarkably true ... " Ñ Victor Schinkelfritz, The Great American Pinup
"Sinclair is inventive and surprising because she does more than show off with language; she also finds ways to make the ideas in poems resonate."--Jay Ruzesky, The Malahat Review