There is something of the elemental in Outlasting the Weather, Patrick Friesen's Selected and New poems 1994-2020. Over time, the elements shape new worlds. Wind carves a stone bowl, the earth receives our dead. The poems are archaeological digs through layers of a life lived without the certainty of belief. Covering twenty-six years and selected from eight previous volumes, the poems in this collection reject wisdom; rather, they are infused with the kind of knowledge that comes from having weathered many seasons yet still remaining open to wonder. Perhaps, writes Friesen of his late father, you are in that grave where we laid you but I am child enough to think the sky. And for a moment we all look up, transported, filled with the endless possibilities offered by a poet for whom poetry is a way of thinking.
The volume wraps up with, "New Work," twenty-seven new poems that display the poet's vast and prodigious talents.
About the author
Patrick Friesen is the author of Blasphemer's Wheel, winner of the Manitoba Book of the Year Award and runner-up for the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award. A Broken Bowl was short-listed for the Governor General's Award. His most recent work st. mary at main was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. He has also written for stage, radio, TV and film. He lives in Vancouver where he teaches writing.
Patrick Friesen's newest collection Carrying the Shadow is a haunting ode to the lives we have felt too briefly, known only in passing and yearn to hold still. While those who loved them keen softly between his lines, Friesen invokes their loss as one remembers a cool breath on the back of the neck, a faint shadow on a headstone, a watermark on the bedstand. With wisdom and beauty and invention, Friesen walks us through the graveyard of human kind where a symphony of voices still conduct the lives left behind long after they depart flesh for spirit. Intermingling prose poems and traditional free verse, Friesen both narrates and sings the stories of absence and forgetting, tales of lingering memory and fleeting love. With infinite candor and sensitivity, Friesen celebrates the lives of idols and iconoclasts, wives and widows, farmers and freeloaders. For anyone who has urged another title in the canon of Friesen's award-winning work, here is a collection worthy of accolade. Death has no dominion, but poetry has dominion over all.