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Poetry Canadian

Desire Never Leaves

The Poetry of Tim Lilburn

edited by Alison Calder

by (author) Tim Lilburn

Publisher
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2009
Category
Canadian, Inspirational & Religious, Literary
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780889205406
    Publish Date
    Aug 2009
    List Price
    $11.99
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780889205147
    Publish Date
    Dec 2006
    List Price
    $19.99

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Description

The selected poems in Desire Never Leaves span Tim Lilburn’s career, demonstrating the evolution of a unique and careful thinker as he takes his place among the nation’s premier writers. This edition of his poetry untangles many of the strands running through his works, providing insight into a poetic world that is both spectacular and humbling.

The introduction by Alison Calder situates Lilburn’s writing in an alternate tradition of prairie poetry that relies less on the vernacular and more on philosophy and meditation. Examining Lilburn’s antecedents in Christian mysticism and the ascetic tradition, Calder stresses the paradoxical nature of Lilburn’s writing—the expression of loss through plenitude. The divine in the natural world is glimpsed in brief flashes; nevertheless, the poet, driven by love, continues his quest for what glitters in things.

Tim Lilburn’s afterword is an evocative meditation grounded in personal history. He speaks of how poetry, a craning quiet, allows one to hear what is alive in the world. He also describes how poetry is resolutely attached to both a historical moment and an individual subjectivity that is inevitably anchored in time. Lilburn’s poetry is both a religious undertaking and a political gesture that speaks to the urgency of situating ourselves where we live.

About the authors

Alison Calder’s first poetry collection, Wolf Tree, won two Manitoba Book Awards and was a finalist for both the Gerald Lampert Award and the Pat Lowther Award for Canadian poetry. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies, most notably Breathing Fire:Canada’s New Poets and Exposed, and has twice circulated on Winnipeg city buses.She is the editor of Desire Never Leaves: The Poetry of Tim Lilburn (Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2007) and a critical edition of Frederick Philip Grove’s 1924 novel Settlers of the Marsh (Borealis, 2006), and the co-editor of History, Literature, and the Writing of the Canadian Prairies (University of Manitoba Press, 2005).Born in England, Alison Calder grew up in Saskatoon and now lives in Winnipeg, where she teaches Canadian Literature and creative writing at the University of Manitoba.

Alison Calder's profile page

Tim Lilburn was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. He has published eight books of poetry, including To the River, Kill-site, and Orphic Politics. His work has received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry for Kill-site and the Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award (for To the River), among other prizes. Lilburn has produced two essay collections, both concerned with poetics, eros, and politics, Living in the World as if It Were Home and Going Home, and edited two other collections on poetics, Poetry and Knowing and Thinking and Singing: Poetry and the Practice of Philosophy. He was a participant in the 2008 Pamirs Poetry Journey. Lilburn teaches at the University of Victoria.

Tim Lilburn's profile page

Excerpt: Desire Never Leaves: The Poetry of Tim Lilburn (edited by Alison Calder; by (author) Tim Lilburn)

Contemplation Is Mourning by Tim Lilburn

You lie down in the deer's bed.

It is bright with the undersides of grass revealed by her weight during the

length of her sleep. No one comes here; grass hums

because the body's touched it. Aspen leaves below you sour like horses

after a run. There are snowberries, fescue.

This is the edge of the known world and the beginning of philosophy.

Looking takes you so far on a leash of delight, then removes it and says

the price of admission to further is your name. Either the desert

and winter

of what the deer is in herself or a palace life disturbed by itches and

sounds

felt through the gigantic walls. Choose.

Light comes through pale trees as mind sometimes kisses the body.

The hills are the bones of hills.

The deer cannot be known. She is the Atlantic, she is Egypt, she is

the night where her names go missing, to walk into her oddness is

; to feel severed, sick, darkened, ashamed.

Her body is a border crossing, a wall and a perfume and past this

she is infinite. And it is terrible to enter this.

You lie down in the deer's bed, in the green martyrion, the place where

language buries itself, waiting place, weem.

You will wait. You will lean into the darkness of her absent

body. You will be shaved and narrowed by the barren strangeness of the

deer, the wastes of her oddness. Snow is coming. Light is cool,

nearly drinkable; from grass protrudes the hard, lost

smell of last year's melted snow.

Editorial Reviews

''[T]he introduction and afterword helped me to understand my own responses better, sharpened my appreciation for a poetry that allures and eludes at the same time.... Lilburn writes this section [the Afterword] with panache, challenging the ordinary and humdrum way of seeing the world.''

Journal of Canadian Poetry, January 2009

''A welcome and strongly recommended introduction to one of Canada's best poets.''

Midwest Book Review, February 2007

''The quest for a wider audience for poetry may be quixotic, but this series makes a serious attempt to present attractive, affordable selections that speak to contemporary interests and topics that might engage a younger generation of readers. Yet it does not condescend, preferring to provide substantial and sophisticated poets to these new readers. At the very least, these slim volumes will make very useful introductory teaching texts in post-secondary classrooms because they whet the appetite without overwhelming.''

Canadian Literature, 193, Summer 2007

''Desire Never Leaves ... is an excellent explanatory introduction to Lilburn's craft, Catholicism, and Prairie mysticism, thanks in part to one of Lilburn's own essays that serves as a postface.''

Seven Oaks, May 2007

''Lilburn stands in awe of, and has come as close as humanly possible to capturing, the magnitude and magnificence of creation.''

Arc Poetry Magazine, Volum 61, Winter 2009

''Readers are bound to appreciate Lilburn's collection, not to mention the welcome inclusion of his afterword which reads like a biography, an essay and a meditation on the quiet power of poetry.''

Canadian Literature, Number 195, Winter 2007

Other titles by Alison Calder

Other titles by Tim Lilburn

The House of Charlemagne

by (author) Tim Lilburn

The Larger Conversation

Contemplation and Place

by (author) Tim Lilburn

The Names

Poems

by (author) Tim Lilburn

Assiniboia

by (author) Tim Lilburn

The Griffin Poetry Prize 2011 Anthology

edited by Tim Lilburn

Going Home

Essays

by (author) Tim Lilburn

Orphic Politics

by (author) Tim Lilburn

Writing the Terrain

Travelling Through Alberta with the Poets

contributions by Ian Adam, Robert Stamp, Tammy Armstrong, Margaret Avison, Douglas Barbour, John O. Barton, Doug Beardsley, Bonnie Bishop, E.D. Blodgett, Robert Boates, George Bowering, Tim Bowling, Jan Boydol, Gordon Burles, Murdoch Burnett, Anne Campbell, Weyman Chan, Leonard Cohen, Dennis Cooley, Joan Crate, Michael Cullen, Cyril Dabydeen, Lorne Daniel, Alexa DeWiel, Jason Dewinetz, ryan fitzpatrick, Cecelia Frey, Gary Geddes, Gail Ghai, Deborah Godin, Jim Green, Leslie Greentree, Vivian Hansen, Tom Henihan, Michael Henry, Walter Hildebrandt, Gerald Hill, Robert Hilles, Nancy Holmes, Richard Hornsey, Tom Howe, Aislinn Hunter, Bruce Hunter, Laurence Hutchman, Sally Ito, Pauline Johnson, Aleksei Kazuk, Robert Kroetsch, Fiona Lam, William Latta, Tim Lilburn, Alice Major, Kim Maltman, Miriam Mandel, Sid Marty, David McFadden, Barry McKinnon, Erin Michie, Deborah Miller, Anna Mioduchowska, James M. Moir, Colin Morton, Erín Moure, Charles Noble, P.K. Page, Rajinderpal Pal, Ruth Roach Pierson, Joseph Pivato, Roberta Rees, D.C. Reid, Monty Reid, R. rickey, Ken Rivard, Stephen Scobie, Allan Serafino, Joan Shillington, Greg Simison, Carol Ann Sokoloff, Karen Solie, Stephan Stephansson, Peter Stevens, Ivan Sundal, Anne Swannell, Vanna Tessier, Colleen Thibadeau, John O. Thompson, James M. Thurgood, Eva Tihanyi, Yvonne Trainer, Aritha Van Herk, Rosalee van Stelten, Miriam Waddington, James Wreford Watson, Wilfred Watson, Tom Wayman, Phyllis Webb, Jon Whyte, Christine Wiesenthal, Sheri-D Wilson, Christopher Wiseman, Stacie Wolfer, Rita Wong, Richard Woollatt & Jan Zwicky

To the River

by (author) Tim Lilburn

From the Great Above She Opened Her Ear to the Great Below

by (author) Tim Lilburn