Disappointment Island

By Monty Reid

Disappointment Island
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In several long sequences of precise lyrics, small songs and “narrowed prayers,” Reid casts a paleontologist’s eye on the accumulations of everyday life, the remains of the near and distant past. Objects, those accretions of memory, are taken down from the shelving and ... Read more


Overview

In several long sequences of precise lyrics, small songs and “narrowed prayers,” Reid casts a paleontologist’s eye on the accumulations of everyday life, the remains of the near and distant past. Objects, those accretions of memory, are taken down from the shelving and dusted off by a mind hungry for meaning and transcendence. This is a poetry that asks the big questions: What survives, and what may be revealed by listening to the “erotic murmur of material things?” In so many of these moving poems, time is telescoped and small human figures are set against a stark backdrop of barrens, desert places, stones and “an excess of bones. ” There are meditations on the arrogance of seeking such emptiness, and also on the various places and provisional dwellings we come to call home: a cabin fastened into place “by sticking the chimney into the mist,” a crumbling Cuban love hotel and “the faintly luminous tents that have gathered like so many eyes / around the fire in the desert…” Here be wonders.

Monty Reid

Born in Saskatchewan, Monty Reid worked at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller before moving to Ottawa in 1999 to become Director of Exhibition Services at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Disappointment Island (2006) won the Lampman-Scott Award and was shortlisted for the Ottawa Book Award. Reid has also won three Stephan G. Stephansson Awards for Poetry (Alberta Literary Awards) and been nominated three times for the Governor-General's Award. The Luskville Reductions is his 14th book.

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