A captivating and poignant new collection of poetry from Griffin Poetry Prize winner Roo Borson that probes some of our most important questions.
After Roo Borson's two previous collections -- Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida and Rain; road; an open boat -- set the seasons in motion, focusing the poet's mind on time, mortality, transience, and absence, Cardinal in the Eastern White Cedar arrives to complete the triptych. From the glittering, classically rendered image to a freighted, lucid, narrative line, Borson's voice can shift and refract while holding true to the momentary facts of the shifting, given world. Her meditations are a kind of fidelity to inquiry, to attachment, to what can't be fully known. Here the distant past collides with the near future, the present opens suddenly into another age, and friendship becomes the measure of time's salience. Cardinal in the Eastern White Cedar depicts what vanishes, the various modest homes where half-remembered lives all flow toward their common end. Roo Borson has crowned a sustained achievement with a work of startling intimacy and vividness.
“Praise for Roo Borson's Poetry: • "In poetry, few things matter so much as a hungry eye, a fresh way of responding to the world . . . Roo Borson is a true original." -- Maclean's • "Roo Borson invites us to embark on a meditative, imaginative and spiritual journey. This book has a profound inner life. It is resonant and whole, moving with quiet, apparently easy steps into the depth of human experience." -- Jury citation, Governor General's Award • "This is the work of a poet writing at the height of her powers. It is a poetic journal of mortality, . . . of entering middle age, and of journeying through landscape, seasons, plants, pasts, to find it again. The book is a small perfection in its construction, moving deftly through seasons and forms . . ." -- Jury citation, Griffin Poetry Prize”