Almost seventy years after his death, D.H. Lawrence (1885--1930) remains one of the most complex and controversial figures in English literature. Remembering the days when the English writer was vilified as a writer of "sexy books with four-letter words," twice Governor-General's Award-winning poet Al Purdy feels that Lawrence should be celebrated not only for his prose work, but for his poetry.
"Lawrence's genius [as a poet] has long been obscured by the brilliance and fame of his novels and essays," Purdy writes in his introduction to this literary feast. "But let's ignore both critics and admirers and look at the poems. At his very best, Lawrence's poems are unequaled."
Taking his own advice, Al Purdy sat down with fellow poet Doug Beardsley and over their favourite libations at Victoria's Waddling Dog pub, they chose a dozen of Lawrence's very best poems and discussed just why they thought this work was so outstanding.
The result, No One Else Is Lawrence!, will be of interest to Lawrence fans everywhere - but it also sheds light on the tastes and sensibilities of two important contemporary Canadian poets.
These twelve poems - "Kangaroo," "There Are No Gods," "Snake," "Man and Bat," "Mosquito," "Elephant," "Whales Weep Not!," "Fish," "Invocation to the Moon," "The Man of Tyre," "Bells" and "Tortoise Shout" - have never appeared in such a sympathetic or provocative setting. As an extra treat the authors include two poems of their own dedicated to the great English writer - Beardsley's "Lawrence's Shrine, Taos" and Purdy's "In Etruscan Tombs."
This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.