Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 15 to 18
- Grade: 10 to 12
This is the 56th book by John B. Lee - said by some to be "Canada's Best Poet". This collection is one of his finest. John B. Lee has won so many awards and been published in so many hundreds of anthologies that they are too numerous to lists. This world-class book is a must read for any poetry lover.
About the author
In 2005 John B. Lee was inducted as Poet Laureate of Brantford in perpetuity. In 2011 he was appointed Poet Laureate of Norfolk County (2011-14) and in 2015 Honourary Poet Laureate of Norfolk County for life and in 2017 he received a Canada 150 Medal from the Federal Government of Canada for “his outstanding contribution to literary development both at home and abroad.” A recipient of over eighty prestigious international awards for his writing, he is winner of the $10,000 CBC Literary Award for Poetry, the only two time recipient of the People’s Poetry Award, and 2006 winner of the inaugural Souwesto Orison Writing Award (University of Windsor). He has well-over seventy books published to date and is the editor of seven anthologies including two best-selling works: That Sign of Perfection: poems and stories on the game of hockey; and Smaller Than God: words of spiritual longing. His work has appeared internationally in over 500 publications, and has been translated into French, Spanish, Korean and Chinese. He has read his work in nations all over the world including South Africa, France, Korea, Cuba, Canada and the United States. He has received letters of praise from Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Australian Poet, Les Murray, and Senator Romeo Dallaire. Called “the greatest living poet in English,” by poet George Whipple, he lives in Port Dover, Ontario where he works as a full time author.
Excerpt: In the Muddy Shoes of Morning (by (author) John B. Lee)
In the Muddy Shoes of Morning! is a wonderful book of poems – I see here the influences of your years on the farm, and this newer influence of the lake! So far, three poems that stand out for me are: “In the Muddy Shoes of Morning”, “The Weakening”, and “Learning the Dead Man's Float”. I see a strong theme of mortality in these poems. Perhaps I can identify with “The Weakening” because I see so much of the gulls here by the river, and in many ways, I like them. Your description of the helpless gull dying in the sand, creates an image perhaps of our own “weakening” and death, with our lives cast into wind and wave with so little evidence that we were ever here.
Learning the dead man's float also speaks to the fragility of life – how we cling to the memory of “connection” with another humans, even if it is only the grasp of a very small hand. I want to savour these lovely, haunting words that only John B. Lee can sculpt and join and create.
Mary Ann Mulhern When Angels Weep was short-listed for the Acorn-Plantos Award, 2009. Mary Ann Mulhern's latest book is: Sleeping with Satan, Salem Witch-hunt, 1692. Sleeping with Satan was launched November 4, 2010.
Other titles by John B. Lee
… be quiet, sit down, you are drunk and this is the edge of the roof …
Moths That Drink the Tears of Sleeping Birds
Selected Poems 2001-2018
Because We Have Lived Here
The Widow's Land
Superstition and farming... a madness of daughters
The Full Measure
Building Bicycles in the Dark
A Practical Guide on How to Write