Governor General's Award-winning poet Don Domanski's posthumous last collection once again melds perception-expanding environmental poetry and metaphysics into a seamless, moving lyric whole.
Fetishes of the Floating World continues Don's lifelong exploration of mystical ecology. It is an invitation to experience the sacred dimensions of what-is and to become more intimate with the strangeness that haunts our lively, changeable world. Here is a spirituality that doesn't turn its back on the material and immerses us in earthly being.
The sustained apprehension of deep time underlies every moment of this work; every moment is held up against that more-than-human span and is relinquished to it. Domanski's full-bodied, incantatory language will penetrate your very marrow, calling you out of yourself to testify to the world's "inclement graces. "
"Domanski's poems are intimate, but intimate on a grand scale. As far as I am concerned, there is no better poet writing in English. "-Mark Strand on All Our Wonder Unavenged
Don Domanski was born and raised on Cape Breton Island and lived for many years in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is the author of nine previous books of poetry. His 2007 collection All Our Wonder Unavenged was honoured with the Governor General's Award for Poetry, the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Award, and the Atlantic Poetry Prize. In 2014 he won the J.M. Abraham Poetry Award for Bite Down Little Whisper. Published and reviewed internationally, his work has been translated into Czech, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese and Spanish. He died on September 7, 2020.
we're all slaves to something for me it's
that whitetail standing motionless on the shore
saint of the held breath saint of the afterimage
and just behind him the unborn resettled
tucked in beneath dogwoods with their milk
teeth jewelling down their spines
hearing only the atonal gossip
of the untranslatable
sighs and cries from the edges of things.
--from "Field Notes"
A Fox-Shaped Absence
now I stand where you once lived I stepped
through slant light of the fading day and found
your home among fallen feathers and dried stalks
of goldenrod here you began the infinitesimal
sloughing off of memory and started to erase
your secret names here beetles now move
among your bones trilling quietly to themselves
here your every thought was a shiver of silence
up the spine and your last breath created
a fox-shaped absence in the world here on your
last night you ended your light-sensitive dialogue
with the moon while the blood-coloured
maple leaves fell on the golden ones
and the underworld felt the crushing weight.
"Stunningly beautiful and delicate, All Our Wonder Unavenged is a deeply moving vision about the intricacies of the everyday world. A spiritual and metaphysical triumph. "--Jury citation, Governor General's Award for Poetry
"All Our Wonder Unavenged represents the mature accomplishment of a poet with a unique, finely honed voice. Cape Breton native Don Domanski speaks to a wholeness of being in poems that are intimate yet vast, specific yet breathtakingly universal. "--Jury citation, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award