Going Home

By Ken Norris

Going Home
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If, as Robert Creeley said, ?form is never more than an extension of content,” what happens when we lose form? Does content retreat into its ruins, its absences? Can we never go home because it retreats from us as relentlessly and unfathomably as our future? Is the imagination ... Read more


Overview

If, as Robert Creeley said, ?form is never more than an extension of content,” what happens when we lose form? Does content retreat into its ruins, its absences? Can we never go home because it retreats from us as relentlessly and unfathomably as our future? Is the imagination of ?our” future as illusory and unreliable as the memory of ?our” past? If, for the young man, ?going home is the first defeat,” the first violation of a burgeoning autonomy, is the very imagination of ?home” an abrogation, a transgression? These are the questions that the deceptively simple lyrics of this book ask, that we encounter as we navigate our way, ?room to room” through their stanzas?from the poet’s New York childhood, his Montreal mentorship with Louis Dudek, to his volitionary adoptive ?home” of Asia. The world changes in Going Home?9/11 happens. In that singular, extended historic moment all of our working models of representation on our North American Island turn to paper and dust, and now we know history always had other plans for us. The whole manufactured unreality of our world falls away in these poems, leads us both toward and away from being ?at home” in the moment. ?We’re all here and not here,” the poet reminds us: an index of time and the true nature of existence?a present impermanence.

Ken Norris

Born in New York City in 1951, Ken Norris came to Canada in the early 1970s. He is currently a Professor of Canadian Literature, University of Maine. One of Canada's most prolific poets, Norris is the author of more than 30 books. His work has been widely anthologized in Canada and throughout the English-speaking world, as well as published in translation in France, Belgium, Israel and China. He divides his time between Canada, the U.S., and Asia.

Reviews

“It’s a whiteout of a poem, a way of showing lostness. Norris’ gift is his ability to show the lost self without entirely losing the speaker and the reader. ”
Canadian Literature

“[Norris] is profoundly original, open and vulnerable, with a unique personal note that speaks to the heart of the reader. ”
Poetry Canada

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