SmallholdingAuthor Anne Compton ISBN 9781554554683 Binding Trade Paper Publisher Fitzhenry & Whiteside Publication Date April 11, 2019 Size 140 x 210 mm
In her fifth collection, celebrated poet Anne Compton turns her attention to smaller objects — the strangeness of thought that plays around common, everyday things and occasions, such as sleep and meals. Here she is a diarist of her immediate surroundings — of a river, fog in its variations, the reliable return of plant and birdlife. The book arcs from the objects observed to the observing mind, its vagaries and slippages, recalling the persons, places, and things that make up a life.
Is a two-time winner of the Atlantic Poetry Prize and winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry for her second collection, Processional. In 2008, she was awarded the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in English Language Literary Arts. A former teacher and writer-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick at Saint John, she developed and directed the acclaimed Lorenzo Reading Series.
"[Compton's] poems and prose-poems provoke and stimulate thinking about where the boundaries between experience, observation, perception, expression, and communication might lie."
— PN Review
"Her writing points to a persistent, saving grace, a lyric remainder — given 'the small manoeuvres left us now' — that can still find its way somehow into these moving, finely made poems.
Weighs more than it looks: Should do, my father says, bent among
October rows. I've come the yellow corridors to be with him.
Like a star compacted by gravity - that dense.
Nebula of particles, fused and lit. Unus, its Latin name.
Best dug at first frost: Difficult, though, to be rid of the soil specks
in the outer sheath. Iron flavour in the winter sandwich.
Graded by flesh colour and as to keeping - storage or straight away.
The Vidalia, in pale—coloured skin, similar to all things fresh —
sweetest forthwith. Thick—skinned storage, a deeper flavour.
Decades gone, he's likely starlight. Or he's the data
encrypted in cells. My cells. The inside story's never lost.
Heaven from earth, according to him. Readable parchment —
in layers — had we the cipher to decode it. Circle by circle.
At the root—end, there are tear—producing compounds,
where it gripped earth. This is true of all things temporary.
About this part, turn aside at the last.
Finalist for the 2020 Atlantic Book Awards' M. Abraham Poetry Award