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Something Else

… be quiet, sit down, you are drunk and this is the edge of the roof …

by (author) John B. Lee

Black Moss Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2021
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2021
    List Price

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Once again, Lee returns to the land of his youth in order to turn the fertile earth so it yields a harvest with an almost extra-sensory connection to the soil. However, in this relatively eclectic collection the subject matter of the poems range from Lee’s signature concern with the land, to poems inspired by the holocaust, the first world war, the War of 1812, to bull fighting. And Lee never takes the easy path to the telling of a story. His heartbreaking poem “… if this is a poem, then it’s a miserable failure,” tells a story of a concentration camp where the ashes must be washed from the strawberries before they can be eaten. In “The Lonesome Postmaster of Antarctica,” he achieves a comparison between his own young self, and the selfishness of his youth when he failed to respond to his father’s serious illness, and that melancholia felt by an imaginary postmaster in the remote sub arctic winter in Antarctica.  And as it is in every book he writes, he has woven a single mischief into the fabric. Something which like the koan of Zen teaching, teases the reader to take the journey, not towards the answer, but rather by simply participating in the delight that comes from not knowing, never quite arriving, simply engaging and thereby participating in the miracle of being.    As he writes in his riddle at the end …  ‘Without Within’  the thing without the thing within without within the thing without

About the author

In 2005 John B. Lee was inducted as Poet Laureate of Brantford in perpetuity. In 2011 he was appointed Poet Laureate of Norfolk County (2011-14) and in 2015 Honourary Poet Laureate of Norfolk County for life and in 2017 he received a Canada 150 Medal from the Federal Government of Canada for “his outstanding contribution to literary development both at home and abroad.” A recipient of over eighty prestigious international awards for his writing, he is winner of the $10,000 CBC Literary Award for Poetry, the only two time recipient of the People’s Poetry Award, and 2006 winner of the inaugural Souwesto Orison Writing Award (University of Windsor). He has well-over seventy books published to date and is the editor of seven anthologies including two best-selling works: That Sign of Perfection: poems and stories on the game of hockey; and Smaller Than God: words of spiritual longing. His work has appeared internationally in over 500 publications, and has been translated into French, Spanish, Korean and Chinese. He has read his work in nations all over the world including South Africa, France, Korea, Cuba, Canada and the United States. He has received letters of praise from Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Australian Poet, Les Murray, and Senator Romeo Dallaire. Called “the greatest living poet in English,” by poet George Whipple, he lives in Port Dover, Ontario where he works as a full time author.

John B. Lee's profile page

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