by Paul Sutherland
'Canada barren? Never call it that.’
This book, the eighth collection from Paul Sutherland, may be the most important, fully-realised work of the poet’s long and illustrious career. Here, ’Journeying’ is an activity, a state of mind, and a wide-reaching metaphor. The poems cover the realities of physical journeying; the thoughts and observations as we move from place to place, an often unacknowledged but vitally important part of literature – and contrast these with scenes of extreme stillness, as in the poet’s memory of a night’s vigil at the bedside of his elderly Grandma.
They also discuss more abstract journeys, along ‘inner paths, outside time and space’, and the perils of retracing one’s steps in search of greater self-knowledge – since, as the author admits, ‘journeying isn’t easy’. The book concludes with the long poem ‘Red Hawthorn-Hedged’, which runs to almost three-thousand words, expanding on the themes raised in the rest of the collection.
This 104-page volume will delight existing followers of Paul's work, and offers new readers a generously-sized introduction to a unique poet; one who demonstrates a singular ability to write to the highest literary standard, whilst maintaining a natural, accessible voice that excludes no-one.
"Paul Sutherland makes a poetry of contradiction: psychological and intellectual inquiry are matched by a ready emotional depth; epic and intimate scales overlap; it’s homeless and historically rooted, free and exact."
— Ian Duhig
"The poems are a beautiful evocation of landscape and longing. There is a great sadness in them, a feeling of an exile from a place that had once been home, but also a sense of alienation from a place which is now home. They capture beautifully the need to return and the knowledge that you never can... a superb collection."
— Karen Maitland
"Paul Sutherland's masterful ability to travel between the abstract, almost philosophical layers of thinking and the very concrete, earth-like reminiscences, is something any reader will find fascinating."
— Mario Susko
"Paul Sutherland is a poet who evokes so well the perspective of the foreign traveller who has eventually settled, almost without realizing it, in a land thousands of miles from his own. Paul’s compelling way of telling stories in poetry opens the door widely and generously to the humanity of his world, which as we read on, becomes ours."
— Ian Seed
Date Published: 2012-10-12
Catalogue Number: VP0036
Number of Pages: 104
Cover design by Jamie McGarry
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