Amidst the tapping of fine rain on moss, leaves, twigs & logs, light bells are ringing here & there. A Junco flits up & down branches of a young spruce rooted in a nurse stump: white bordering tail-fe
Amidst the tapping of fine rain on moss, leaves, twigs & logs, light bells are ringing here & there. A Junco flits up & down branches of a young spruce rooted in a nurse stump: white bordering tail-feathers flick against its grey. What insects stir within the wood rot? Bells inter¬spersed with the subtle rain: those clear voices from all four corners of the compass. Each nurse stump deserves a Junco singing.
In his first book of prose, distinguished Canadian poet Brian Bartlett offers a book of days, a daily diary from spring to spring. In the tradition of John Clare's notebooks and letters, Henry David Thoreau's Walden and his voluminous journals, and Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Bartlett looks out at his local surroundings with a poet's eye for detail, his ear attuned to the ringings of the natural world. Grounded in Nova Scotia, but reflecting travels further afield to Alberta, Nebraska, New York City and Ireland, the entries take on the qualities of field reports, sketches, commentaries, tributes and laments, quotations and collages. Over 366 daily entries, Bartlett shows that the resonance between human life and nature is there waiting to be heard.
View Biographical note
is the author of seven full-length collections of poetry, including The Watchmaker's Table, The Afterlife of Trees, and Wanting the Day: Selected Poems (Goose Lane Editions/Peterloo Poets UK). His books have received the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Acorn- Plantos Award for People's Poetry. He has also been honoured with two Malahat Review Long Poem Prizes and first prize in the Petra Kenney poetry awards. Bartlett has edited volumes of selected poets by Don Domanski, James Reaney, and Robert Gibbs. He grew up in New Brunswick, lived in Montreal for fifteen years, and since 1990 has taught creative writing and literature at Saint Mary's University in Halifax.
"While to most of us the idea of dailiness does not correspond to exciting or even, necessarily, to interesting, this is where Bartlett shows us how patient observation proves the obverse: if we only look, as he does, there is much every day to see in the world. . . Bartlett's skill results in polished, and frequently inspired, parts."
View Review text
— Arc Poetry Magazine
View Promotional headline
On the 2015 East Coast Literary Awards shortlist