Maurice Mierau tackles big subjects -- sex, senility, war, suicide -- without a ponderous bone in his body. His approach to poetry is amazingly vital, with a strong pop sensibility and a wry sense of humour. These poems are ripe with the atmosphere of a Wim Wenders film, with a little Isaac Bashevis Singer sprinkled in -- an unforgettable mix of horror and fable. Jarringly beautiful at times, Ending with Music offers a vivid sense of person and place, encompassing Rilke, the rural Mennonite past, and the atrocities in Srebrenica.
when the executioner struck off the man's head something flew
off his face so he put up his hands
(no one saw what it was or why he put his hands up but some
said they saw a black hen he tried whisking away and
others said it was a demon with shears
dancing and glinting in the sun) but everybody soon saw
the executioner's nose drop off which was
- from "Revenge Stories"
"Mierau's poems are full of movement ... They launch narratives with spin, invite silence, then linger on the ear." - Carol Shields
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