John Thompson

Edited by: Peter Sanger

During John Thompson’s sadly attenuated lifetime, he completed only two volumes of poetry. At the Edge of the Chopping There Are No Secrets and Stilt Jack (published posthumously), but seldom has such a slim oeuvre supported such a large reputation. When John Thompson: Collected Poems and Translations was first published in 1995, the reasons for Thompson’s stature became clear, and in the twenty years since then, his influence has only grown larger.

Thompson seeks out the darkest places of the heart, then floods them with light. These remarkable poems evoke the deep woods, the relentless turning of seasons that churn life into death, and back again to life. They unflinchingly examine his relationships, drawing out the pain and joys of domesticity.

Confessionally raw, but oblique and beautiful, Thompson’s poetry — and in particular, his experiments in Stilt Jack with adapting the ghazal, a poetic form with origins in Arabia — has influenced three generations of poets. As Peter Sanger notes in his definitive introduction, “For many young Canadian poets, composing a ghazal sequence has become a rite of passage, and Thompson is often addressed or alluded to as a tutelary figure.”

Reissued to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of its first appearance, this volume, edited and introduced by Peter Sanger, now revised and updated with new information and insights, gathers together all of Thompson’s extant mature poems and translations, including, in addition to the two published books, poetry published only in periodicals, unpublished poetry, and Thompson’s haunting translations from several of his French Canadian contemporaries and the great French poet René Char.

AUTHOR

Peter Sanger

Peter Sanger is best known for his influential writings on poets John Thompson, Douglas Lochhead, and Richard Outram. His most recent books include Lightfield: The Photography of Thaddeus Holownia and Fireship: Early Poems, 1965–1991. He lives in Truro, NS.


Reviews

During John Thompson’s all-too-brief lifetime, he completed only two volumes of poetry, At the Edge of the Chopping There Are No Secrets and Stilt Jack, but seldom has such a slim œuvre supported such a large reputation. In these remarkable poems, Thompson seeks out the darkest places of the heart and floods them with light. Confessionally raw, oblique and beautiful, Thompson’s poetry — and in particular, his experiments in Stilt Jack with adapting the ghazal. A poetic form with Persian and Arabian origins — has influenced three generations of poets.

This revised and updated edition of John Thompson: Collected Poems and Translations, edited and introduced by Peter Sanger, gathers together all of Thompson’s mature work, including not only his two books, but also previously uncollected poetry and Thompson’s haunting translations of several of his French Canadian contemporaries and the great French poet René Char.


“John Thompson searched deeply among humanity’s most hidden places and brought back to us poems of remarkable beauty. The uncollected poems and translations only add to the greatness of his gift. No one who reads his life’s work can go away unchanged.”
“what lasts, words like hooks to catch trout, love that got away”

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During John Thompson’s sadly attenuated lifetime, he completed only two volumes of poetry. At the Edge of the Chopping There Are No Secrets and Stilt Jack (published posthumously), but seldom has such a slim oeuvre supported such a large reputation. When John Thompson: Collected Poems and Translations was first published in 1995, the reasons for Thompson’s stature became clear, and in the twenty years since then, his influence has only grown larger.

Thompson seeks out the darkest places of the heart, then floods them with light. These remarkable poems evoke the deep woods, the relentless turning of seasons that churn life into death, and back again to life. They unflinchingly examine his relationships, drawing out the pain and joys of domesticity.

Confessionally raw, but oblique and beautiful, Thompson’s poetry — and in particular, his experiments in Stilt Jack with adapting the ghazal, a poetic form with origins in Arabia — has influenced three generations of poets. As Peter Sanger notes in his definitive introduction, “For many young Canadian poets, composing a ghazal sequence has become a rite of passage, and Thompson is often addressed or alluded to as a tutelary figure.”

Reissued to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of its first appearance, this volume, edited and introduced by Peter Sanger, now revised and updated with new information and insights, gathers together all of Thompson’s extant mature poems and translations, including, in addition to the two published books, poetry published only in periodicals, unpublished poetry, and Thompson’s haunting translations from several of his French Canadian contemporaries and the great French poet René Char.

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

296 Pages
9in * 6in * 0.84in
475gr

Published:

November 01, 1995

Publisher:

Goose Lane Editions

ISBN:

9780864921451

Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

Featured In:

All Books

Language:

eng

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