An exquisitely musical and meditative new voice in Canadian poetry.
In her debut collection, Karen Enns' focus is the beauty present to us in almost every moment, however mundane or apparently lost. Her argument is that the act of attention itself is the most fundamental of these beauties.
And when the rooms were bare and windowless,
and the winds came with their black rain and the darkness
and the coats on nails like frameless men,
the pockets hollow-mouthed, I wanted this:
to see the shape of things completely,
every darkness, every rise and fall, small breath.
— from "Confession"
That Other Beauty ranges across memories of a farm childhood, and further back, to the Mennonite exodus from Russia. We encounter immigrants, furnace repairmen and grocers, dead cats, a raven lifting into "the clear, bright density of rain." Enns meditates on Bach, on solitude, and on exile both accidental and imposed, weaving darkness and light with great fidelity and authority.
" ... A seductive and pastoral examination of the self in situ encompassing nature, anecdote, memory, and intense moments of personal connection ... This is a large-hearted and joyful book."--from the Judges' Citation for the 2011 Gerald Lampert Award
"At once lush and spare ... Enns is most interested in life's peripheral moments, the things that vanish if you turn to look at them directly, like the light from distant stars ... a fine collection with which to launch her career."--Louise Fabiani, Quill and Quire