Go Leaving Strange - the latest collection from award-winning poet Patrick Lane - is filled with poems that explore the darker side of human consciousness and desire. A man kills his own six-year-old child in "Weeds." An addict strives to keep ahead of death in "Smack." But amid this bleak landscape of pity and regret, there is also redemption and hope, life and beauty - in the wisteria seed that "shines between the folded legs of the pod, demure, waiting for spring . . . ," in the polished silver bowl of a spoon, or in the "blue flare" of an "old blacksmith tempering iron in dust and fire." And the poet's presence is everywhere as he seeks to find meaning in this existence.
"It may be the most enduring quality of Lane's poetryï¿½: the way he rides willingly into black territory to embrace the horrors there, just so they might set us all free."
-The Malahat Review
"...Go Leaving Strange asks the reader to examine their history and their nature, as Lane examines his own...But Go Leaving Strange doesn't necessarlity ask the reader to 'deal' with the problems of the world by changing them -- as it says in 'Bent,' 'Bent is what you try to straighten, but metal breaks from weakness.'"
-Ian Blechschmidt, Imprint
"Patrick Lane's Go Leaving Strange (Harbour Publishing, 117 pages) is a watershed book for a poet whose work has been recognised with Canada's most prestigious literary awards. It's two sections, 'After' and 'The Addiction Poems' almost seem like books by different poets, but together they record the spirtual and artistic death and rebirth of a writer whose poetry has always had the impact of a switchblade pulled at a tea party...This new voice of Patrick Lane is more honest. It recognizes that the tragic and beautiful dilemma of being human is not something that can be summed up with a few clever lines or resolved by a quick sucker punch to the soul."
-John Moore, Vancouver Sun
"Go Leaving Strange is a book of coming to terms with the erosion of a mountain, yet if we hold a piece of of it the way Lane does, we may see the mountain, its beauty what perfects us in the moment."
-Daniela Bouneva Elza, Quills
"...Haunting, ominous lines draw a bleak yet strikingly brillant and intriguing picture of B.C.'s interior for the reader. In 'Weeds,' Lane paints a picture of the interior reminiscent of T.S. Elliot's 'Wasteland,' and the 'terrible beauty' of the coyotes's flesh in 'Coyote.'"
-Jenn Marshall, The Peak