Quiet Night Think

By Gillian Sze

Quiet Night Think
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“One function of the poet at any time is to discover by his own thought and feeling what seems to him to be poetry at that time,” writes Wallace Stevens. In Quiet Night Think, award-winning poet Gillian Sze expresses her own definition.

During the remarkable period of ... Read more


Overview

 

“One function of the poet at any time is to discover by his own thought and feeling what seems to him to be poetry at that time,” writes Wallace Stevens. In Quiet Night Think, award-winning poet Gillian Sze expresses her own definition.

During the remarkable period of early parenthood, Sze’s new maternal role urges her to contemplate her own origins, both familial and artistic. Comprised of six personal essays, poems, and a concluding long poem, Quiet Night Think takes its title from a direct translation of an eighth-century Chinese poem by Li Bai, the subject of the opening essay. Sze’s memory of reading Li Bai’s poem as a child marks the beginning of an unshakable encounter with poetry. What follows is an intimate anatomization of her particular entanglement with languages and cultures.

In her most generically diverse book yet, Sze moves between poetry and prose, mother and writer, the lyrical and the autobiographical, all the while inviting readers to meditate with her on questions of emergence and transformation: What are you trying to be? Where does a word break off? What calls to us throughout the night?

 

Gillian Sze

 

Gillian Sze is the author of multiple poetry collections, including Peeling Rambutan, Redrafting Winter, and Panicle, which were finalists for the Quebec Writers’ Federation’s A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. She resides in Montreal, where she teaches creative writing and literature.

 

Reviews

 

Quiet Night Think is a stunning work. Gillian Sze has ‘the acrobatic ear’ and a generous mind. To be a mother, a daughter, a writer, a self — through reflection and poetry, essay and remembrance, these fragile threads carry one another in profound, transporting ways. I know I will return to this extraordinary book again and again. ” — Madeleine Thien, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing

 

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