Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Poetry Canadian

Earth's Crude Gravities

by (author) Patrick Friesen

Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Initial publish date
May 2007
Canadian, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2007
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 16
  • Grade: 11


Longlisted for the 2008 ReLit Award for Poetry

Earth's Crude Gravities is both a meditation and an argument, a compelling series of poems on the world of matter and the world of spirit. Acclaimed poet Patrick Friesen muses on the religion that has been such a key part of his own background--but he also raises uncertainties.

Whether he is discussing his love of the material world or the fictional creation of a narrative in religion, Friesen's poetry is elegant, eloquent and imagistic.

About the author

Patrick Friesen is the author of Blasphemer's Wheel, winner of the Manitoba Book of the Year Award and runner-up for the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award. A Broken Bowl was short-listed for the Governor General's Award. His most recent work st. mary at main was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. He has also written for stage, radio, TV and film. He lives in Vancouver where he teaches writing.

Patrick Friesen's newest collection Carrying the Shadow is a haunting ode to the lives we have felt too briefly, known only in passing and yearn to hold still. While those who loved them keen softly between his lines, Friesen invokes their loss as one remembers a cool breath on the back of the neck, a faint shadow on a headstone, a watermark on the bedstand. With wisdom and beauty and invention, Friesen walks us through the graveyard of human kind where a symphony of voices still conduct the lives left behind long after they depart flesh for spirit. Intermingling prose poems and traditional free verse, Friesen both narrates and sings the stories of absence and forgetting, tales of lingering memory and fleeting love. With infinite candor and sensitivity, Friesen celebrates the lives of idols and iconoclasts, wives and widows, farmers and freeloaders. For anyone who has urged another title in the canon of Friesen's award-winning work, here is a collection worthy of accolade. Death has no dominion, but poetry has dominion over all.

Patrick Friesen's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Patrick Friesen's new poems possess a luminous gravity, offering us an urgent series of remembrances, meditations and perceptions that have at their heart all that we know about our certain, common fate, and all that we cannot know about the mortality that defines us. Friesen translates his 'thirst for the sorcery of the world' and the spiritual hunger of a secular ascetic into poetry that intersects rural and urban, prairie dust and Vancouver rain, the goddamned and 'god blessed' . . . these poems address the reader with rare simplicity and openness, creating a profound sense of common ground between writer and reader: our being 'at home in need.'"
--Janice Kulyk Keefer

Praise for Earth's Crude Gravities

Librarian Reviews

Earth’s Crude Gravities

This most recent collection of poems from Patrick Friesen further asserts his position as one of Canada’s finest poets. Some of the pieces are set on the Prairies, while others take place in the urban setting of Vancouver, where he now lives. Despite the apparent simplicity of the words he uses, the poems contain resonance and depth. Writing for an adult audience, he explores universal themes such as death and love. His Mennonite background is reflected in some of the pieces, especially those which see him wrestling with what might be deemed his religious beliefs.

Friesen has also published plays, translations and CDs. He has been shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Award for Poetry (BC Book Prizes) and for the Governor-General’s Award.

Caution: Some communities may take offense from the fact that Friesen does not use capital letters when referring to Jesus or God.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2007-2008.

Other titles by Patrick Friesen