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Poetry Canadian

Orchid Heart Elegies

by (author) Zoë Landale

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2022
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2022
    List Price

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Here we stand between one breath / and death asking to be light.

What happens when someone we love dies? Orchid Heart Elegies explores the fragmentation of loss.

In luminous poems that echo the Duino Elegies, Zoë Landale – like an edgy, modern-day Rilke – takes the reader to a place of amazement. Enquiring into loneliness and the transformative power of a particular bioregion, Landale’s poems use language infused with the consolations of music to enact transformation. Following in the tradition of thousands of years of lyrical poetry, they gently suggest that we can bear our lives, no matter the pain, by means of a sole moment’s solace.

Capturing the torn, jagged moments of grief and transforming them into poems of deep consolation and healing, Orchid Heart Elegies will appeal to any reader who has lost someone dear to them.

About the author

Zoe Landale, a former President of the Federation of B.C. Writers, has won a number of awards for her work, including National Magazine Gold. Her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies throughout Canada and the U.S. She lives in Ladner, BC.

Zoë Landale's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“… these elegies, which carefully balance laments with reflections, are also imbued with a strong sense of place … on our islands: by the sea, in the forest, on the trail. [They] will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one, and equally with anyone who loves the pithiness of poetry.” Aqua Magazine

“How is it that language can encompass a loss so large it leaves us speechless? Zoë Landale’s elegies, using the rhythms and rhetoric of Rilke’s Duino Elegies as a springboard, find a way to say the unsayable. For those recovering from such a loss, or witnessing one, Orchid Heart Elegies offers sustenance and solace.” Rhea Tregebov, author of Rue des Rosiers

“[Landale] composes her querying losses with such dignity and grace that one doesn’t want to avoid this experience of mourning but celebrate the way that, through the pain, we persist, more fully alive.” Catherine Owen

Other titles by Zoë Landale