Popular poet and author of the acclaimed memoir Paradise Piece by Piece, Molly Peacock tracks the vicissitudes of midlife marriage in her saucy, vulnerable, philosophical sixth collection, her first to be published in Canada. These lyrical, playful, moving poems focus on illuminating the territory of relationships, while always revolving around the deeper questions about how we love and how love affects the way we live.
Published in the U.S. by W.W. Norton.
About the author
Molly Peacock is the author of six volumes of poetry, including The Second Blush (McClelland & Stewart, 2009) and Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems (W.W. Norton); a memoir, Paradise, Piece by Piece; and a one-woman show in poems, “The Shimmering Verge” produced by Louise Fagan Productions (London, Ontario). She has been series editor of The Best Canadian Poetry in English since 2007, as well as a contributing editor of the Literary Review of Canada and a faculty mentor at the Spalding MFA Program. Her poetry, published in leading literary journals in North America and the UK, is widely anthologized. Her latest work of nonfiction is The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72 (McClelland & Stewart, 2010).
Excerpt: The Second Blush (by (author) Molly Peacock)
A city mouse darts from the paws of night.
A body drops from the jaws of night.
A woman denies the laws of night,
awake and trapped in the was of night.
A young man turns in the gauze of night,
unraveling the cause of night:
that days extend their claws at night
to re-enact old wars at night,
though dreams can heal old sores at night
and Spring begins its thaw at night,
while worry bones are gnawed at night.
He sips her through a straw at night.
Verbs whisper in the clause of night.
A finger to her lips
the pause of night.
I watch my husband at a party,
a shy boy become a man at ease at last.
Success freshens his face, the boy now free
to pass beneath his expressions
as if slipping under a fence.
I used to slip under a fence
to swim in a stream-fed pond
and laze in the water till shocked
and delighted by a cold spot I swam through.
That's what his face is like,
infused by a source inside him.
I know I have a part in it,
just as I was part of the pond
where I loved to swim.
The best thing about a hand-made pattern
is the flaw.
Sooner or later in a hand-loomed rug,
among the squares and flattened triangles,
a little red nub might soar above a blue field,
or a purple cross might sneak in between
the neat ochre teeth of the border.
The flaw we live by, the wrong color floss,
now wreathes among the uniform strands
and, because it does not match,
makes a red bird fly,
turning blue field into sky.
It is almost, after long silence, a word
spoken aloud, a hand saying through the flaw,
I’m alive, discovered by your eye.
Praise for Molly Peacock:
“She has a luxuriantly sensual imagination — and an equally sensual feel for the language. In mood her poems range from high-spirited whimsy to bemused reflection. Whatever the subject, rich music follows the tap of Molly Peacock’s baton.” — Washington Post
Other titles by Molly Peacock
A Friend Sails in on a Poem
Essays on Friendship, Freedom and Poetic Form
In Which Mary Hiester Reid Paints, Travels, Marries & Opens a Door
The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English
The Tenth Anniversary Edition
The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2016
The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2015
The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2014
Alphabetique, 26 Characteristic Fictions
The Lives of the Letters
The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2013
The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2012
The Paper Garden
Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72