Hymn

By (author): John Barton

A journey in search of love through the contemporary homoerotic male body.

Improvising on a variety of poetic forms and traversing disparate landscapes — from Belfast to the clear-cuts of Vancouver Island, from the subterranean heat of Jules Verne’s Iceland to the ventriloquism of the Alberta Rockies’ echoing eastern slopes — John Barton documents the path of the male body in the search for love in an increasingly unstable, supposedly tolerant contemporary world. Hymn, stokes the fires of homoerotic romantic love with its polar extremes of intimacy and solitude.

… though he files all forethought of the unknown life now going

on without him, a life he confuses with his own, his life promiscuous
however rearranged his surfaces or clean his drawers, the unclarifying

distractions of the body portentous in his downfall, the downfall
of his own body a matter of time, but thinking of the man who left

the accidental man come between them, the man he may yet become
it is impossible for him not to sing them unwashed hymns of praise.

— from “Hymn”

AUTHOR

John Barton

John Barton is a poet, essayist, editor and writing mentor. His books include Polari, For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems; Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay-Male Poets; We Are Not Avatars: Essays, Memoirs, Manifestos; and The Essential Douglas LePan, which won a 2020 eLit Award. Formerly the co-editor of Arc Poetry Magazine and editor of The Malahat Review, he now lives in Victoria, where he is the fifth poet laureate.

Reviews

“A touch of the enterprising scientist informs John Barton’s Hymn… his work is passionate and probing, filled with vivid turns of phrase.”–Barbara Carey, Toronto Star

Hymn is heavy with loneliness and loss; with sex and glimmers of love … perfect poetry for the tired, fragile, lonely and hopeful.” –E.G. Anderson, Monday Magazine


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A journey in search of love through the contemporary homoerotic male body.

Improvising on a variety of poetic forms and traversing disparate landscapes — from Belfast to the clear-cuts of Vancouver Island, from the subterranean heat of Jules Verne’s Iceland to the ventriloquism of the Alberta Rockies’ echoing eastern slopes — John Barton documents the path of the male body in the search for love in an increasingly unstable, supposedly tolerant contemporary world. Hymn, stokes the fires of homoerotic romantic love with its polar extremes of intimacy and solitude.

… though he files all forethought of the unknown life now going

on without him, a life he confuses with his own, his life promiscuous
however rearranged his surfaces or clean his drawers, the unclarifying

distractions of the body portentous in his downfall, the downfall
of his own body a matter of time, but thinking of the man who left

the accidental man come between them, the man he may yet become
it is impossible for him not to sing them unwashed hymns of praise.

— from “Hymn”

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

144 Pages
8.75in * 6in * 0.4in
0.24lb

Published:

August 15, 2009

Country of Publication:

CA

Publisher:

Brick Books

ISBN:

9781894078764

Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

Language:

eng

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