Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald

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[BRIEF NOTE] Heather Pyrcz and 21st Century Poetry

Heather Pyrcz's poem "September 7, 2001," originally on page 32 of her 2002 collection Viaticum (Kentville NS: Gaspereau Press), is my favourite poem of recent fancy.

Oh, to avoid the precipitous cliff,
quagmire, thicket,
laying siege to the walled city,
the benefit of the brilliant strategist;
and yet, we still do it--we turn fifty.
Plato promised
this is when you'll have
your vision of The Good.

I waited patiently all morning--
not knowing what to expect,
hoping it wouldn't be too
abstract. Then, just past noon,
when the clear September sky
was at its bluest,
Tess and I spotted five bald eagles
soaring over Grand Pré,
in sight of the Bay, the tide rising,
the fields of corn and sunflowers
burnished gold below.

One reason I like this poem so much is that it, like the whole of Pyrcz's eminently purchase-worthy Viaticum, is informed by other poets and non-poetic sources of knowledge. This isn't terribly surprising, considering that Pyrcz authored the excellent resource A Digital History of Canadian Poetry, but this reflection of the deep structure of human knowledge in poetry isn't something I've seen very often in much recent poetry. Too much of the recent poetry I've been assigned to read in university tends towards the solipsistic. Why read this?
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