first snow falling slow hangs in the air a curtain drifting there thickening sight —“Winter”
In this new collection, Douglas Barbour experiments with what he calls “rhythmically intense open form.” Listen. If presents technically innovative poetry that invites the reader to join in some serious play. Barbour’s vivid, ekphrastic poems engage an ongoing conversation among artworks—not only classic paintings but also popular music—while his lyric poems astutely, accessibly evoke places, moments, and feelings. This is poetry that takes up language both as the already-said and as a playground for brilliant technique. Leaping from love to landscapes, politics to jazz, Keats to Milne to Monk, these poems yearn to be spoken aloud for the pure joy of sound.
"In Barbour’s latest, there are some elements familiar through much of his work, from meditations to memorials, his ongoing engagements with world politics, and lines and narrative-threads composed with breaks of breath in and among.... There is a precision that Barbour writes out in each short breath-take, clipped and clear, even as the accumulation of those words and phrases come together to form a narrative both distinct and nebulous." [Full post at http://robmclennan.blogspot.ca/2017/04/douglas-barbour-listen-if.html]
# 8 on Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers list, April 23, 2017