The day's an old room / stripped of its furniture; there are / never enough beds in winter. / By late afternoon, the shadows / are forming a blue inconsolable hall // as sparrows retreat to makeshift / cots of pine bark and eaves. // Even the parched marsh grass / has stilled, every blade / become an ear. Sensuous, atmospheric, and spare, The Unlit Path Behind the House collects poems that seek light in difficult places. In lines filled with an intense music, Margo Wheaton listens for the lyricism inside the day's blessings and catastrophes. Wheaton's poems sing at the intersections where public and private worlds collide: the steady cadence of a boy carrying an unconscious girl in his arms, the afternoon journey of a woman taking books to prisoners, the rhythmic breathing of a homeless man asleep in a parking lot. In these works, fireflies pulse in the dark, lovers clasp and unclasp, and street signs sing like Blake's angels. Deeply informed by the natural world, Wheaton's writing is marked by great meditative depth; while passionately engaged, these poems evoke a field of mystery and stillness. Whether exploring themes of isolation, spiritual dispossession, desire, or the sanctity of daily rituals, The Unlit Path Behind the House conveys our longing for home and the different ways we try to find it.
Margo Wheaton was born in Moncton, New Brunswick, and currently lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
?Wheaton's work is suffused with a remarkable compassion: subtle, hard won, and mature. It refuses to compete with literary fashion; it simply transcends it. This is a stunning debut — a work of technical sophistication and great emotional integrity.” Jan
"This is simply a brilliant collection of poems. Margo Wheaton is one of the finest poets to come out of the Maritimes in a generation." David Adams Richards
?The collection often works with a tone of dark mystery, but in and around those moments are moments of romance and sensuality, moments that exalt touch to the highest sense. And in this sensual experience of life, there is victory. It's a quiet, subdued
?Wheaton coaxes the reader with quiet grace to a clearing in the sorrowful forest from which we can see the house, the lights and the way home.” Atlantic Books Today
?There is holiness in the stillness of the wild, as it becomes clear in Margo Wheaton's new collection. Her poems speak of the ways that the earth's movements translate through human bodies.” Foreword Reviews
?With her recurring interest in the limitations and possibilities of poetry, that anti-Romantic possibility of failure most notable in those poems that come closest to nature poetry and lyric, Wheaton joins an ongoing poetic conversation most notable in t