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the swailing (The Hugh MacLennan Poetry Series #76) (Paperback)

the swailing (The Hugh MacLennan Poetry Series #76) By Patrick James Errington Cover Image
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Here the long edge / of town Low / winter fog / … My breath / my offering We are / our bodies burning Firmly rooted in fire-haunted landscapes that are at once psychological, emotional, and fiercely real, Patrick Errington’s first collection traces the brittle boundaries between presence and absence, keeping and killing, cruelty and tenderness. In these poems human voices whisper through the natural world – a hand turns on a lamp to extinguish the stars; stones outline a sleeping form; a black eye is a storm cloud. Errington stokes vivid images, formal grace, and subtle humour into the flickers of life that hold fast against unforgiving terrain. Here language functions like a controlled burn, one that could at any moment preserve, perfect, or reduce to ash. Urgent, resonant to the bone, the swailing burns to the ember-edge of grief, memory, and control to find the wildness, wilderness, and wonder that remain.

About the Author

Patrick James Errington is an award-winning poet and recipient of the 2022 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award. Originally from Alberta, he now lives in Scotland, where he teaches at the University of Edinburgh.

Praise For…

“The slow burn of these poems culminates in evocative and expansive lyricism.” Poetry Foundation

“From the beginning of the book to the end, the poet sets the reader’s mind on fire with the luminous language, lyric intensity, and emotional heat of these poems. Patrick Errington’s gorgeous, superbly crafted gems each shimmer under the poet’s fierce gaze, and taken together achieve something grand and powerful.” Jennifer Franklin, author of If Some God Shakes Your House

“Gorgeous poems which seem to shimmer on that constantly shifting border between the body and the landscape.” Andrew McMillan, author of pandemonium

“Patrick Errington's poems are conceived in attention, crafted in grace, and finished in wisdom. ‘They told me as a child to be exact with pain,’ Errington writes, and his poems are true to his credo, leaping wildly through the mysteries of mourning while extending to us the compassionate hand of form. Here is a poet who knows that form and freedom can be one, that sorrow can have an ecstasy within it, that hope might just be ‘loss finding what form it can keep.’ Here, in poem after poem, is truth.” Joseph Fasano, author of The Swallows of Lunetto

“Like figures walking through the smoke from a burning field, Errington’s poems emerge with remarkable definition, clarity, and surprise.” Bronwen Wallace Prize jury citation
Product Details
ISBN: 9780228016755
ISBN-10: 0228016754
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Publication Date: March 15th, 2023
Pages: 120
Language: English
Series: The Hugh MacLennan Poetry Series