Omens, curses, the reading of entrails: means of grappling with what is out of our hands, beyond our ken.
Steven Price's second collection is part of a long-lived struggle to address the mysteries that both surround and inhabit us. The book draws together moments both contemporary and historical, ranging from Herodotus to Augustine of Hippo, from a North American childhood to Greek mythology; indeed, the collection is threaded with interjections from a Greek-style chorus of clever-minded, mischievous beings -- half-ghost, half-muse -- whose commentaries tormentingly egg the writer on. In poems that range from free verse to prose to formal constructions, Price addresses the moral lack in the human heart and the labour of living with such a heart. Yet the Hopkins-like, sonorous beauty of the language reveals "grace and the idea of grace everywhere, in spite of what we do."The pleasures of Price's musicality permeate confrontation with even the darkest of human moments; the poems thus surreptitiously remind us that to confront our own darkness is one of the divine acts of which humans are capable.
"People who ask about the future of poetry should read this book. It addresses our contemporary angst and fear, yet the words Price brings to the page shine darkly with the tough, earthy power of Old English..." -- Lorna Crozier, The Globe and Mail
"This is a wonder-filled book of poems ... [It presents] ways of living with the darkness that underlies our world." -- Bill Robertson, Saskatoon StarPhoenix
"Edward Gorey crossed with Tim Burton via Tom Waits ... Price's poetic voice is assured, sonorous and strong" -- Nikki Reimer, EVENT