an orientation of thought in thinking how a / thought begins and then travels on to arrive / at another place connected and like-minded // A work of art is never entirely present in itself but rather is always at large in the mind of the viewer. So it is that a painting needs to know the simplest question those viewing it are asking themselves. From the intimate starting point of observer and observed, Carson's seductive, exhilarating new collection turns poetry and paintings, making and representation, language and thought on their heads.
Edward Carson, writer and photographer, is twice winner of the E.J. Pratt Medal in Poetry and author most recently of Knots, Birds Flock Fish School, and Taking Shape. He lives in Toronto.
"What happens when we experience a work of art? The poems in Edward Carson's stunningly original collection explore the intricate patterns of communication and response that unfold when we look at paintings, respond to music, read poems. Rather than simply cataloguing the works' contents, Carson recreates their dynamics and takes us inside them. The wonderful phrase he applies to a Miró painting, 'a rhetoric / of exuberant spaces,' is descriptive of Look Here Look Away Look Again itself, and it is matched by a rhetoric of exuberant language that takes such supposedly unpoetic words as 'phenotype,' 'quantum,' or 'algorithm' and brings them to life. At the same time, Carson revitalizes that time-worn form, the sonnet sequence – for that is what this collection is, when you 'look again' – and weaves it together with recurrent twilit glimpses of birds, moon, and stars. Readers of Look Here Look Away Look Again will be looking in delight, again and again." John Reibetanz, award-winning poet, author of By Hand
"Edward Carson's engrossing collection erodes the boundaries between words and images, between seeing, thinking, and feeling. As the title suggests, the poet offers a new way of contemplating art, one that is experiential and deeply satisfying." Montreal Review of Books
"Look Here Look Away Look Again by Edward Carson is marvellous. Deep philosophical insights and a delightful set of forms of language that perhaps were indeed the unarticulated thoughts of Einstein or Monet or Mrio, or other geniuses of the past, travelling long space-time distances, like light itself, before they reveal themselves to us on the page." Madhur Anand, author of A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes