Brimming with powerful imagery and quiet but strong emotion, The Essential Dorothy Roberts gathers together a selection of the best poems from Fredericton-born poet Dorothy Roberts's six-decades-long career.
Dorothy Roberts was a poet of exile. Born in Canada of a family already distinguished in the arts, she lived most of her adult life in the eastern United States. Yet, her poetry remained firmly rooted in Canada and in the landscape of the North.
A professor of literature and creative writing at St. Mary's University, Brian Bartlett (1953) won the 2000 Petra Kenney Poetry Competition. In 1997 he won the Malahat Review Long Poem Prize for the second time. He was born and raised in New Brunswick, and as an undergraduate at the University of New Brunswick, he was part of the circle of writers who gathered at "Windsor Castle," Alden Nowlan's home. Bartlett is the editor of Don MacKay: Essays on His Work (2003).
The woods suggested it, the forest of urges,
And we undressed and walked among the leaves
To let the skin release its impulses In little starts and pleasures lighter than real.
The delicate touch of woods checking the current
Between the flesh and world was most to be trusted
Of all the possible ways of coming to be More than the personal triumph of the child.
Leaves, fronds, stones, mosses, brooks, tendrils and flowers,
I thank you for the delicacy of those hours
Letting the impulse out, the shower in Of quick cool contact and the bars of sunlight.
Into the forest vanishing for persuasion
We found the dusky place and golden haven
Fern wand and cedar bough gradually gave- Still is all lover's touch partly of leaves.
From a River Boat
I saw out the open doorway of the hold
the river writing a page line on line this is a way to read
Here it seems that to move through wrinkles of running water is to be all we need
The sun is not shining the wind is only enough to set up little waves
To be absorbed in this writing in this silvery word
is to by-pass identity it has seemed
to be all the way composed in a quiet meditation obliquely told
Look too at the water to see an outlook of history
a written page flowing along into fresh impulse
here charging the surface of words the silent and spoken records and the wind turning the lines into another outburst